Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/12465
BBC journalists take second day of strike action
Despite a large number of staff holidays during August, numbers at the picket line outside the BBC Leeds office remained high today. Staff were taking a second day of strike action against job cuts and complusory redundancies which are seen by many as the thin end of the wedge of cuts at the BBC.
Again, the strike severely disrupted programming with the flagship Today show going out an hour late, whilst locally Look North was reduced to a five minute broadcast.
There were no morning news bulletins and the local BBC radio stations have had to pool the work of those working in each office to put out an almost identical schedule of shows for the day across the region instead of a distinct schedule at each station.
At lunchtime, an impromtu rally was held, with a guitar brought to the picket line and various well-known songs sung, including "Part of the Union".
Afterwards, BBC Radio Leeds NUJ Father of the Chapel, Trevor Gibbins, gave a short speech outlining several shocking statistics about the BBC, including that Mark Byford, ex-Deputy Director General got a £900,000 payout when he left the BBC, more than many of the strikers would earn in a lifetime.
He also explained that although the expenses of the BBC Trust (the body that governs the BBC) are down by 34% in the last year, one of the members still managed to rack up over £11,000 in expenses in half a year!
A work to rule begins tomorrow, and further industrial action looks likely over the next few months.
Iain Dalton, Yorkshire Socialist Party
In Coventry there was a picket in the city centre outside the home of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. The strength of the strike action in Coventry and regionally reduced the local radio station (Coventry and Warwickshire radio) and the regional news channel to a basic minimum service.
Socialist Party members from Unison, NUT, NUS, Unite, PCS, and CWU (both postal and telecoms) attended the picket line in Coventry city centre to show solidarity with the journalists.
Vanessa Pearce, Mother of the Chapel for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire NUJ spoke to members of the Socialist Party on the picket line:
"It's really important for us to fight against compulsory redundancies. In September we will find out how the cuts in the BBC will affect us here, we need to make a stand now to fight for every single job".