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BBC journalists strike over job losses

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, August 1, 2011 7:17 EDT
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BBC journalists began a second 24-hour strike on Monday in a row over job losses, threatening disruption to some of the broadcaster’s flagship programmes.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) are angry at around 100 compulsory job losses at the World Service and Monitoring division, which monitors mass media worldwide, as the broadcaster seeks to make huge savings.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said she expected the strike, which began at midnight, to be “very solidly supported” by the organisation’s 3,000 union members.

The World Service announced in January it was cutting 650 jobs as the government withdrew funding as part of an austerity drive, under which the BBC is seeking to cut its budget by 16 percent in the next few years.

A strike on July 15 caused the broadcaster’s main Today news programme on Radio 4 to start an hour behind schedule at 7:00 am (0600 GMT), while the main BBC TV evening current affairs programme Newsnight did not air.

Talks between the two sides broke down last week and they will meet again on August 11.

“There has been absolutely no meaningful movement from the BBC to address the cases of individual journalists losing their jobs now,” claimed Stanistreet.

A BBC spokesman responded: “We are disappointed that the NUJ is intending to strike and apologise to our audience for any disruption to services this may cause.

“We will continue with our efforts to reduce the need for compulsory redundancies, however, the number of posts that we are having to close means that unfortunately it is likely to be impossible for us to avoid some compulsory redundancies,” added the spokesman.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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