Thursday, 14 July 2011

NUJ: 'BBC not interested in talks to avert strike'

The NUJ has accused BBC management of avoiding talks to head off the 24-hour nation-wide strike by journalists which is due to begin at midnight tonight over the issue of compulsory redundancies.

The union's general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “Union representatives have tried hard to resolve this serious dispute through negotiation. We have even agreed to use the ACAS conciliation service to try to find a way forward.

"But BBC senior management has shown no real interest in negotiations. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that BBC management wants thousands of its journalists to go on strike tomorrow, rather than settle the dispute.

“If that is the case it confirms our members’ worst fears about the management strategy of introducing compulsory redundancy at the BBC. The massive vote for strike action by journalists across the BBC reflected their fear for the future as well as their solidarity with colleagues already being targeted and singled out for the sack.

“Management indifference to settling our dispute suggests that our members’ concern that many more redundancies are planned is fully justified. We have offered to meet the BBC next week or when it’s convenient to the BBC, and have asked management to extend the leaving dates of those individuals immediately affected by redundancy in order to allow the talks to take place. Management has refused. We also offered to meet with the BBC at ACAS today. Management has refused."

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