The International Federation of Journalists
(IFJ) today gives its backing to BBC journalists who are on a 24-hour strike in
their second stoppage to protest the cuts and compulsory redundancies, which
will be followed by a non-stop work to rule as of 2 August. The strike by
thousands of National Union of Journalists' (NUJ) members has created serious
disruption to several flagship programmes, nationally and in the regions.
Following the first stoppage last 15 July,
the NUJ attempted to get the BBC to find alternative solutions to avoid
compulsory redundancies but to no avail. The union says that the BBC is wasting
thousands of pounds making skilled and experienced people redundant instead of
agreeing to redeploy them in other jobs.
Jim Boumelha, the IFJ President said, "BBC
management seems to be sleepwalking into a disaster of their own making. The
union has been suggesting many alternatives that keep experienced journalists
in work but the BBC is stonewalling. NUJ members should be congratulated for
taking a stand against cuts in jobs and in defense of quality journalism."
The NUJ has in the wake of the phone
hacking scandal and the revelations of the intimate links between Murdoch's
News International and politicians in government, demanded that the decision to
freeze the licence fee for the next six years, which led to the imposition of a
20% spending cuts across the BBC, should be reviewed.
"The IFJ fully supports the efforts by the
NUJ to have the dodgy licence fee deal re-examined, in the light of the
disclosure of the kow-towing of politicians to the Murdochs. The time has now
come for this deal to be scrutinised and for a transparent and open debate to
take place to determine the future of the BBC." added Boumelha.
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IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 131 countries