It has been a few weeks since I have had any bad news to report about involving the British Broadcasting Corporation, so pardon my rust.
The network apologized this morning for the disruption to its services after members of the staff that belong to the National Union of Journalists and Bectu (the technical staff) went on a 12-hour strike to protest job cuts, increase workloads and claims of bullying at the network.
The strike disrupted BBC news programs and bulletins, with both BBC News and BBC World having to switch to pre-recorded broadcasts when the strike began at noon GMT. Newsnight did not have a Thursday broadcast. Both of BBC One's evening bulletins ran shorter than usual.
The BBC is cutting 2,000 jobs over the next five years with its Delivering Quality First (DQF) program. At first, the jobs cut will be redundancies, but staff members will be lost that are not redundant when all is said and done. Both unions want six months to look at workplace issues, but the BBC is reluctant, saying that no savings are hiding.
More than 50 percent of each union voted in favor of the strike, with Bectu saying that the BBC wants to create “a modern-day BBC sweatshop.”
A BBC representative said that, "We have had constructive meetings with the Unions in recent weeks and whilst we’re unable to postpone planned compulsory redundancies for six months as they requested, we do agree that stress and workload are areas of real concern. If workloads are going up because of the pressures of working in a 24/7 digital media environment and implementing savings, it’s in everyone’s interest to understand the issues and work with individuals, their managers and the unions to address it."