Friday, 5 November 2010

Report from the BBC world service picket line

Striking BBC world service journalists were celebrating taking all the station's news programmes off air today.
While strike-breakers were able to compile short bulletins the longer Radio 4 style news shows were all scrapped and replaced with pre-recorded repeats.
Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have walked out for 48 hours over changes to their pension scheme which will see some people have their pay-out cut be a quarter.
At lunchtime around 70 journalists and their supporters rallied on the steps of the world service's Bush House headquarters in London.
They heard speeches from NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear, world service newsroom rep Mike Workman, and George Binette bringing solidarity from the Camden branch of the local government union UNISON.
Pickets were in good spirits and pleased with the public reaction to their dispute.
Although the BBC pension scheme covers all the workers only the journalists are on strike.
Members of the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph, and Theatre Union (BECTU), the BBC electricians' union Unite, the Musicians' Union, and the actors' union Equity voted to accept the new scheme after some changes were won by the threat of industrial action.
However - as reported exclusively on The Workers United - some BECTU activists have swapped to the NUJ to support the strike.
In Newcastle tweets from the picket line reported that a significant number of BECTU members have refused to cross. The same story was coming from Southampton and Cornwall.
Across the UK the NUJ was getting support from members of other unions - and comedians Alan Davies and Robin Ince tweeted that they wouldn't be crossing picket lines to appear on BBC programmes.
Belinda Affat, a Unite rep at The Guardian print centre, visited the world service picket line and said: "It was very uplifting to talk to the strikers. I would encourage other trades unionists to visit their local BBC centre and offer support."
Picket lines and messages of support
Pictures and updates from the NUJ


  1. Learn to spell (especially in headlines) and check your facts.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistake.
    Which facts arre you querying?