BBC staff vote to strike over job cuts

Journalists and broadcasting workers at the BBC have voted to strike in protest at plans to cut 3,780 jobs.  Strikes are planned for 23 and 31 May and 1 June.

Members of the Bectu and NUJ unions have voted in favour of a walk-out – probably a 12- or 24-hour stoppage between mid-May and early June.

The BBC is expected to try to minimise disruption but unions said they want “black screens and dead air”.

News and live broadcasts could be hardest hit – raising fears that it could hit events such as the FA Cup Final, on 21 May.

The BBC said it was “disappointed” at the result and “would prefer to continue constructive discussions” with the unions.

The corporation said: “Given the scale of the changes that the BBC needs to make, and that the unions have not allowed us to talk to them in order to address their concerns, we are not surprised by the ballot result.”

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said the result was “a reflection of the huge anger at the scale and impact” of director general Mark Thompson’s cuts.

Thompson maintains that most of the job losses would be achieved through staff turnover and voluntary redundancies and put more than £350m a year back into programme-making.

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