Journalists could strike over threat of job cuts

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HUNDREDS of BBC Scotland journalists could be on strike within weeks over a threat to jobs.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is to hold an emergency meeting on Friday to decide whether to go ahead with industrial action, which BBC staff have already voted for in principle.

Union officials are to hold talks with management the day before over job cuts that equate to nearly 10 per cent of BBC Scotland’s staff.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said union members were likely to back “at least a work to rule” aimed at disrupting services. But he added journalists may also opt for a series of one-day strikes.

“We have these negotiations with BBC management on Thursday to see what steps have been taken to avoid redundancies,” he said. “We then have a mass meeting on Friday to decide whether to move towards industrial action. We feel as though we have been left with no option.

“There’s already been a national UK ballot, triggered by compulsory redundancies, that showed overwhelming supported for action. If people decide to go ahead with this action, we would only have to give a week’s notice.

“People have got to decide what action to take.”

The NUJ action could involve up to 200 BBC journalists. If broadcasting union Bectu backed a strike or work to rule, the number involved could be as high as 400.