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SBD Global/July 16, 2014/Media

BBC Staff To Stage 12-Hour Walk-Out During Commonwealth Games In Pay Dispute

Thousands of BBC journalists, technicians and other workers "are to stage a 12-hour strike next week to coincide with the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, in a row over pay," according to the HERALD SCOTLAND. Members of the National Union of Journalists, Bectu and Unite "will walk out around mid-day on July 23, followed by a work to rule." The move "follows overwhelming votes in favour of industrial action in protest" at an offer of £650 ($1,114) for those earning less than £50,000 ($85,700) a year and £500 ($860) for employees on more than £50,000. Union leaders said staff had suffered five years of below inflation pay deals, adding that the BBC could afford to pay more. Members of the NUJ voted by 77% in favor of a strike, "while those in Bectu backed action by 79%." Bectu General Secretary Gerry Morrissey said, "The BBC can find money for vanity projects, but cannot find money for its own staff, whose pay has dropped by 10 percent in the last five years" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 7/15). In Edinburgh, Laura Paterson wrote crisis talks are taking place "in a last-ditch attempt" to stop culture and leisure staff in Glasgow from striking. Glasgow Life bosses are due to meet union leaders "in an attempt to avert strike action in a dispute over staff overtime pay and shift patterns during the Games." But before the negotiations, "fighting talk from each side continued." Unison balloted 321 members and of the 93 who took part, 67 voted in favor of industrial action, "while 75 of Unite’s 183 members took part and 38 voted to strike." A Glasgow Life spokesperson said, “The number of union members balloting for strike action represents just under 4 percent of our workforce, less than one in 25 of our staff" (SCOTSMAN, 7/15).
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