Pitt Lane staff take part in nationwide BBC walkout
BBC Radio Shetland will be off the airwaves on Monday as local staff participate in a 24-hour nationwide strike over the threat of compulsory redundancies at the corporation.
National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members were on the picket line outside Lerwick’s Pitt Lane studios on Monday morning in protest at management decisions nationally.
BBC Radio Shetland has lost a producer’s post and seen cuts to its budget in the wake of the UK government’s decision to freeze the licence fee for five years.
NUJ mother of chapel for Aberdeen, Dundee and the Northern Isles Fiona Stalker said members were taking the action to “defend jobs and quality journalism at the corporation”.
She said Shetland staff had a “very specific and rich news patch” and it was “absolutely vital that the quality of their news and programming is protected”.
Ms Stalker said: “We’re angry and frustrated at the poor decisions being taken at the top of the BBC, decisions that are leading to journalists being forced out of their jobs and quality journalism and programming [being] compromised.
“NUJ members here in Scotland remain at risk of compulsory redundancies. Morale here at BBC Scotland has been described as rock bottom.
“We believe losing more staff will compromise quality and the range of news and current affairs stories we can cover. Our viewers, listeners and audience deserve more from their BBC.”
Unions described support for the strike, which forced flagship BBC shows including Radio 4’s Today programme off the air, as “solid” throughout the country.