News / John and Mike on strike

BBC Radio Shetland staff Mike Grundon and John Johnston were joined on the picket line by local Unison chairman Brian Smith - Photo: Hans J Marter

LOCAL radio station BBC Radio Shetland was off air on Friday as staff at Pitt Lane joined a 24-hour strike in protest at compulsory redundancies being made at the national broadcaster.

The walkout, called for by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), is over compulsory redundancies at BBC World service and BBC Monitoring, services that are being slashed as a result of the freeze in the licence fee.

The NUJ argues that staff should not be made redundant but offered other employment opportunities within the organisation.

The NUJ’s father of the chapel for Aberdeen, Dundee, Orkney and Shetland, Colin Wight said:

“We regret having to take this action and not providing the usual services for viewers and listeners. We feel we have no choice but to oppose the compulsory redundancies proposed by the BBC.

“The NUJ is opposed to any compulsory redundancies and believes the BBC has not fully explored alternatives such as retraining and redeploying staff.


“There are hundreds of staff members in the BBC who volunteered to leave, and we believe through negotiation we can find a way forward.”

In Shetland, NUJ members John Johnston and Mike Grundon were joined on the picket line by the chairman of the local Unison branch, Brian Smith. BBC Radio Orkney, meanwhile, was on air.

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