Unions threaten strikes over BBC’s closure plans
Union leaders have warned the BBC that they could take industrial action after wide-spread media reports claiming the corporation is set to scale back on its services and axe jobs.
Union leaders have warned the BBC they could take industrial action against any plans by the corporation to cut jobs and services. Yesterday The Times newspaper reported that the BBC were planning to close down national radio stations 6 Music and the BBC Asian Network as well as cutting back on its website, spend less on acquiring American imports, spend less on sports rights and potentially sell off its magazine division which publishes popular brands such as Radio Times and Top Gear. The proposals would result in hundreds of job losses across the BBC. Although these plans have not been confirmed by the BBC they sparked wide-spread protest and accusations the corporation was bowing to pressure from the Murdoc empire and the Tory government.
Now the leaders of the broadcasting union Bectu and the National Union of Journalists has warned the corporation that industrial action may take place if any such cuts are announced. The Unions also accused the corporation of bowing to pressure from politicians and commercial rivals. The leaders of the two unions met with a BBC director, on Friday were they were informed the claims in the Times newspaper were “largely correct”. They are expected to meet with the Director General, Mark Thompson, sometime next week.
“These cuts will result not just in the loss of hundreds of jobs, but the loss of valuable, quality output aimed at young people and Asian communities.” – Jeremy Dear, NUJ
The plans have not only met with protest from the two unions but also listeners of 6 Music who have launched a Facebook group to try and save the digital station. So far over 60,000 people have joined the campaign and thousands more have taken to Twitter to announce their support for the station. Media insiders and music experts have also expressed their support for 6 Music and the Asian Network. Many are accusing the BBC are trying to appease a future Tory government. While the Tories welcomed the proposals the Murdoc empire stated they were not enough and the BBC needed to be scaled back further.