BBC journalists vote ‘overwhelmingly’ to stage series of strikes that could sabotage company’s coverage of coronation, spring budget and Eurovision Song Contest
- About 83 percent of NUJ members voted in favor of the strike action
- A 24-hour strike will take place on March 15, the same day as the spring budget
BBC journalists have voted ‘overwhelmingly’ to sabotage the company’s budget day coverage with a series of strikes over local radio changes.
It was revealed yesterday that 83 per cent of National Union of Journalists members who voted by ballot supported the action, in what is being billed as the biggest BBC strike in 13 years.
It was revealed later in the day that there would be a 24-hour strike on March 15, starting at 11 a.m., the same day as the spring budget.
The NUJ also threatens to attack coverage of the coronation, the Eurovision Song Contest and local elections.
The moves come after the BBC revealed it wants local radio stations to share more content and broadcast fewer programs unique to their regions.
Strike action by BBC journalists will affect coverage of upcoming spring budget, with further dates considered around local elections, coronation and Eurovision Song Contest
It was revealed yesterday that 83 percent of National Union of Journalists members who voted by ballot supported the action. Stock Image: BBC Yorkshire Studios
It is clear that the decision could lead about 1,000 local services staff to take the action. This would affect local radio and regional TV services and local online services.
Sources claim that some programs or services may be taken off the air.
There will also be a ‘work to rule’ policy by members after the first strike.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) previously said the local radio changes would lead to the loss of posts and journalists would have to reapply for their own jobs.
The union said yesterday its members who worked for BBC England supported the union action because of the proposals, with 83 per cent in favor of strikes and 92 per cent voting for action without a strike, with a turnout rate of 69 per cent. A total of 1,000 members took part in the vote.
The NUJ said the dispute was not about wages, but about how resources “could best be used to serve the public.”
In a series of tweets, the union said: ‘But the door remains open for the BBC to engage in constructive discussions. We believe members can provide digital content and also #KeepBBCLocalRadioLocal.
‘While Local Radio is our main focus, members remain concerned about the terms of the Digital First proposals.
“Our members have delivered a huge mandate for action. The voter turnout was 69% of eligible members to vote – meaning NUJ members who work within BBC Local.’ The last major BBC strike took place in 2010, when there was a 48-hour strike over a dispute over pensions.
BBC management has proposed ‘drastic cuts’ to local radio programs (Photo: New Broadcasting House in central London)
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ’s general secretary, said: ‘This emphatic result shows the strength of feeling among BBC members and their determination not to stand by and watch as local radio output is dismantled.
“I urge the BBC to take stock and get involved in a meaningful way so that we can move towards a solution that recognizes the vital role that quality, relevant and truly local news plays in our public broadcaster.
“The BBC’s focus on digital content and delivery should not come at the expense of local news and journalism.”