BBC strike hits TV, radio output
LONDON, England -- A 24-hour strike in protest at job cuts by BBC journalists and other workers has brought disruption to TV and radio schedules and online services.
The British state-funded broadcaster's flagship Today radio program was the most high-profile victim of the industrial action and was replaced by recorded items on Monday. The TV Breakfast program ran with a basic service and one presenter.
But some stars of BBC radio, such as Radio 1 Breakfast Show presenter Chris Moyles and Radio 2's Terry Wogan, broke the picket line at Broadcasting House in central London and worked as normal.
Wogan wished people on the picket line "Good luck" as he went inside the building, a union representative told the Press Association.
Richie Ellison, a technical operator, said: "He said 'Sorry I cannot help, but good luck', which we thought was nice.
"Everyone seems quite nice about it so far from the presenters. I think they realize they are presenters who have to keep the service going."
The National Union of Journalists and two other unions said they expected 11,000 workers to join the strike, which was called over plans to cut almost 4,000 jobs and privatize parts of the corporation.
The corporation says the cuts are needed so the BBC can save £355 million which they can then spend on programming.
The BBC said it regretted the industrial action -- the biggest to hit the corporation for more than a decade -- and would do everything it could to produce the best possible service.
"Industrial action will not remove the need for further consultation or the need for the BBC to implement changes which will enable us to put more money into improved programs and services," it said in a statement.
Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ, said it would be the biggest strike against the BBC in living memory.
"It will be a massive display of anger across the BBC at the scale of the impact of these cuts.
"Workers will give a clear demand that managers should start listening to their concerns," Dear told PA.
"We have made it clear we will not accept cuts which decimate programs, devalue the BBC, short-change licence fee payers, increase pressures on staff and worsen working conditions."
The unions have called a 48-hour strike from next Tuesday and have warned of another 24-hour strike next month.