BBC employees have voted to stage their biggest strike in 13 years in protest over the corporation’s changes to local content in England.
Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have warned that they could target King Charles III’s Coronation in May when they down tools.
Some 83% voted in favour of strike in a postal ballot, with the remaining 17% not supporting a walkout. The turnout was 69%, which was higher than some were expecting.
An NUJ meeting will take place later today to decide on a course of action after a mandade was secured for industrial action.
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Deadline first reported in January that it was “inevitable” that employees would stage a walkout amid fury at proposals to scale back local television and radio programming across the country.
The BBC has argued that funding for local content is being maintained, but it is reprioritizing £19M ($23M) of resources from traditional broadcast services to online and multimedia production to “keep pace with changing audience expectations.” This includes growing local news online and investing in investigative reporting.
BBC staff have not staged a major strike since 2010, when there was a 48-hour walkout over a pensions dispute. Flagship shows, including Newsnight and Breakfast, fell off air as star presenters including Fiona Bruce joined the protest.
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