Strikes threatened at the BBC

Will there be picket lines in Shepherd's Bush after Wednesday's Announcement?

Strikes loom at Wood Lane

Today Show presenter and Hammersmith Resident John Humphrys

Local MP questions BBC's neighbourliness

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The BBC, one of Hammersmith and Fulham’s biggest employers, is bracing itself for strike action at it prepares to announce up to 3,000 redundancies next Wednesday.

High profile staff including Hammersmith resident John Humphrys, have spoken out against the cuts, which have also been criticised by broadcasting union Bectu.

 

Yesterday (Wednesday) union leaders met with the BBC Trust chairman, Sir Michael Lyons.

 

They warned him that industrial action in the run-up to Christmas was "inevitable" if the BBC pressed ahead with plans to cut thousands of jobs in an effort to plug the £2bn "black hole" between its stated ambitions and its below- inflation licence fee settlement.

 

As part of Mr Thompson's strategy to make "fewer, bigger, better" programmes and to repeat them more often across the BBC, he will also look to shave around £100m a year from the cost of original productions.

 

Broadcasting union Bectu and the National Union of Journalists criticised Mr Thompson for cutting too deep, just three years after around 6,000 jobs were axed or outsourced in an attempt to save £355m a year by 2008.

 They feared the cuts would hit quality and that he would try to rehire staff on lower salaries and poorer contracts and rush the cuts through in 12 to 18 months, rather than spreading them over several years. "You can't just cut 12 per cent of your workforce and expect the quality to remain the same," said Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of Bectu.

 

October 12, 2007