EastEnders crew go on strike

Filming of 'EastEnders' is set to be thrown into chaos as its production crew go on strike today (10.08.10) over a decision to cut travel-to-work payments

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Cliff Parisi

Departing EastEnders star Cliff Parisi

Filming of 'EastEnders' is set to be thrown into chaos as its production crew go on strike today (10.08.10).

Camera operators and sound technicians have stopped work for 24 hours over a decision to cut travel-to-work payments, with a further three walk-outs scheduled for later this month.

An insider told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "Any stoppages can have a big knock-on effect as to what ends up on screen."

The furious crew stand to lose between £5,000 to £10,000 a year in the cutbacks, according to broadcasting union Bectu, who have written to actors to make a stand so the expenses can be restored.

However, BBC bosses insist the cutback was necessary.

BBC Studios chief Mark Thomas said: "We cannot afford to reimburse travel-to-work claims at a time when other colleagues are losing their jobs."

BBC bosses have vowed to draft in extra staff to cover for those on strike.

Earlier this year six 'EastEnders' stars were axed.

Long-serving actors Cliff Parisi and Derek Martin - who play mechanic Minty Peterson and show patriarch Charlie Slater respectively - were among the cast to go.

Libby Fox, played by Belinda Owusu, her on-screen gran Liz Turner (Kate Williams) and boyfriend Adam Best (David Proud), as well as show newcomer Liam Bergin, who only joined as Danny Mitchell earlier this year, were all told in April their contracts would be ended.

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