"British Broadcasting Corporation employees strike over job cuts"
World Socialist Web Site
Employees of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) struck for 24 hours on May 23, in protest at plans to cut 3,780 jobs and privatise sections of the corporation. A 48-hour strike is planned for May 31 and June 1.
The three unions involved—the broadcasting union Bectu, the National Union of Journalists and the white-collar and technical union Amicus—reported that 55 percent of members had participated in Monday’s strike. Throughout the day picket lines were mounted outside Bush House in Central London, TV Centre in White City and Broadcasting House.
Several radio and television programmes were cancelled. The BBC’s live shows, such as TV’s “News 24” and “Radio Five Live” were hardest hit, with the latter broadcasting repeats. The English-language BBC World Service was also affected, as its live programming was replaced with five-minute news bulletins every 30 minutes. BBC One’s news bulletin at 1300 was simulcast with “News 24” without its usual presenters or local news, whilst BBC Radio 4 cancelled such flagship programmes as “Today.”
The job cuts represent almost one in five of all BBC employees in the UK public service division. Approximately 2,050 jobs will be cut from content and output areas and a further 1,730 from the behind-the-scenes Professional Services by 2008. The Professional Services is being cut by 46 percent, but most departments stand to lose between 10 to 20 percent of their employees.