A whopping 83% of BBC staff belonging to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have voted to strike on budget day, taking roughly 1,000 staff from local stations off-air in what would be the biggest BBC strike action in over 13 years. The NUJ is also threatening to down tools during the coronation, the local elections, and Eurovision…
The move is reportedly a result of the BBC’s cuts and changes to local radio, rather than pay. The NUJ claim it is a dispute over how resources are “best used to serve audiences”:
“We believe members can deliver digital content and also #KeepBBCLocalRadioLocal. Although Local Radio is our main focus, members remain concerned about terms and conditions under the Digital First proposals. Our members have delivered a huge mandate for action.”
The strike is so severe it could take some programmes off-air.
MediaGuido has previously reported on how the Buzzfeed newsroom is split over attempts by some staff to unionise. Above is a letter from the National Union of Journalists which was left on Buzzfeed employees’ desks in the office last week. Guido is not sure a patronising Steve Buscemi meme and a listicle on “12 Reasons Why Buzzfeed UK Needs Union Recognition” is the best way to convince staff of their case.
Multiple people in the Buzzfeed newsroom say the NUJ letter has caused genuine anger for two reasons. One Buzzfeed source says it is deeply misleading and takes credit for changes that were always going to happen. Buzzfeed journalists believe the pro-unionisation side of the office are lying to their colleagues about their achievements.
A second Buzzfeed source says the NUJ letter is significant because the Central Arbitration Committee is currently deciding whether there is to be a secret ballot on unionisation, and the letter does not even countenance the idea that there should be a vote. That Buzzfeed source says: “It’s strange a movement that professes to be about rights for the workers doesn’t even want those workers to have a say from the outset”. A third Buzzfeed source says: “People are exhausted by all this, it is tearing the office apart”. It seems the NUJ’s dirty tactics of fibbing to hacks and opposing workplace democracy are not going down well…
And the winner of ‘Correction of the Year’ award goes to… the National Union of Journalists for this howler which is laughably outrageous even by the union’s standards:
“Yesterday we published a statement condemning a decision to strip-search media workers at the Prime Minister’s Office in Downing Street. We now accept that this was incorrect. The information was provided from a trusted source. However, neither the source nor NUJ staff made the necessary checks before publication. The event in question did not take place in this country. We apologise unreservedly to all concerned.”
“The event in question did not take place in this country”… oops!
So it all kicked off at the loony lefty NUJ meeting at the London Welsh Centre last night. As reported yesterday, the NUJ Magazine Branch were told they could not debate their motion calling the late Charlie Hebdo martyrs ‘racists’ at their own HQ due to security reasons. Media Guido understands the LWC staff were misled, simply being told it was a debate about ‘free speech’. That soon unravelled though.
When female bar staff voiced their concern about the aggressive way in which they were treated by NUJ Magazine Branch members – who it’s claimed had harassed staff on the way in, attempted to film them on phones and then verbally abused them – the management called time and shut the bar. Which is enough to send a room full of hacks apoplectic at the best of times. It is understood that the manager then sent staff home for their own safety after the loonies went berserk.