Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/395/4490
BBC: New offer must be rejected
ON 23 May thousands of BBC staff, members of three different trade unions, took strike action. This was not just to defend their jobs but also to save public-sector broadcasting from privatisation and to defend the concept of public services as such.
Christian Bunke, NUJ joint branch secretary, Manchester
Picket lines throughout the country were youthful, lively and combative, sending a militant message to BBC director-general Mark Thompson and the government: "We won't accept your cuts, we will fight."
Then, at the last minute, came the announcement that the two-day strike from 31 May to 1 June was called off. Union leaders put the following to BBC shop stewards at a meeting on Tuesday, but "without proposing acceptance of the offer": BBC Resources will not be sold until 2007. The sell off of BBC broadcast is going ahead, but unions can consult with the bidders. No compulsory redundancies until 2006.
This "offer" doesn't solve anything. NUJ, BECTU and AMICUS members should vote against it. If accepted, the BBC would still be up for privatisation, there would still be massive job cuts after 2006. The fight to save public-sector broadcasting has to continue.
In The Socialist 2 June 2005: