BBC’s job cuts video leaves staff cold

Unions representing BBC staff have criticised corporation director-general Mark Thompson for announcing job cuts via video.

Thompson announced the first wave of job cuts on 10 March as part of the BBC’s restructuring programme, with 980 staff to leave the Professional Services department – which includes HR – and 750 roles to be outsourced.

Broadcast union Bectu said staff “watched the 13-minute tape on TV monitors in disbelief” and criticised Thompson for not addressing them personally.

Unions have already threatened that compulsory redundancies and sell-offs will be challenged by “any means at their disposal”, including industrial action.

Thompson’s announcement came a week after the unions Bectu, NUJ, and Amicus kicked off a joint campaign against the cost-cutting plans.

Thousands of staff wore union-issued badges to support the call for the BBC to halt cost-cutting, and abandon plans for further privatisation, in particular the sale of BBC Broadcast, which began last week, and the possible disposal of BBC Resources.

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