BBC strikes expected as staff hear fate today

  • 18 October 2007

The BBC is expected to be hit by strike action in the run up to Christmas, as staff today (18/10) hear how the corporation plans to save £2 billion.

As part of his ‘fewer, bigger, better’ strategy, which was approved by chairman Sir Michael Lyons yesterday, director general Mark Thompson will reveal how the BBC expects to meet the funding shortfall – with thousands of jobs hanging in the balance.

It has been speculated that news, factual programming and websites will be hardest hit, while Scotland, after massive investment, is expected to dodge much of the cuts.

An insider at BBC Scotland was quoted as saying: ‘It is tough, we have had a tough time in the recent past and now we are heading for more tough times.

‘But we have only just moved to the multimillion-pound new headquarters, Pacific Quay, with all that means, and the investment in new technology, there’s a feeling that even in this difficult period we will be in a relatively strong position.’

Mr Thomson will address staff later today.

Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), said letters seeking volunteers had already been printed.

‘This is clearly a provocative act and a sign that the BBC has no intention of entering meaningful discussions because they have already made up their mind,’ he added.

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