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We're on strike!

We're on strike!

So it has come to pass. BBC staff are to strike over job cuts.

I can’t help but feeling that strike action is a wonderfully antiquated way of making your voice heard, and somehow very apt for the BBC. Some parts of which are screamingly looking forward to a brighter (if less staffed) future – and some parts of which are still firmly rooted in the past, firmly resisting any notions of change with their head stuck in the sand saying “Digital convergance? What digital convergance?”

And of course it won’t have the slightest effect. Screens won’t go blank thanks to automation and privatisation, half the public won’t see anything amiss beyond more Only Fools And Horses repeats, and 25% of BBC staff will still end up on the dole queues. Including me, most likely.

Call me a Thatcherite, but I don’t think the unions have been particularly helpful in demanding as a baseline negotiation that there be no compulsory redundancies. Since the management seemed hell-bent on reducing the size of the BBC. Not much the unions can do about that, is there? No-one is guaranteed a job at the BBC, and there are thousands of youngsters desperate to be where I am. Poor deluded fools. Then again, what else could the unions do but fight battles the old-fashioned way, in the face of a management that is determined to put through these changes?

Mind you, the BBC isn’t helping matters. It hasn’t tried to explain its’ actions, or do any point-scoring with the unions. For instance, the Unions point out that none of the management are going – it’s all production staff. The BBC could point out that some management are going – if any were going, indeed. Also, the BBC hasn’t even bothered trying to persuade staff members not to vote for a strike.

We’re in an interesting situation where both parties feel that they have to take radical steps, the management want to change things (and lose staff at the same time), and the unions don’t seem to want things to change. At least, not to the extent of biting the bullet that some people do just have to go.

4 Comments

  • Oops, sorry about the misplaced comment. I was fannying around with logging in, and came back to the wrong place.

    But anyway, I agree with you about the unions. I lost faith with them when I was working in the UK. I was struggling with some technical issue (I forget what, now; I think it was a database issue). being an ubergeek, but a busy one, I muttered something about planning to come in on my day off to crack it, because it was bugging me. At which point, my department shop steward squared up and said "oh no you won't! If you do, they'll expect us all to do it." Call it a clash between old and new economies, if you like. But I left the union after that.

  • Aw. But if you had to stand in the street with a sign, what would it say?

  • Hooray! Does this mean we get Roland Rat and Batman repeats? Or am I confused…

  • Why do the unions push so hard to strike, it seems as though it is their answer to everything.

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