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Unions at Al Jazeera ballot for industrial action

13 March 2018

BECTU and the NUJ are balloting members for industrial action at Al Jazeera English. The move comes in the face of Al Jazeera International Ltd’s continued failure to negotiate an across the board pay settlement for staff.

Unions recommend a yes vote

The ballot opened at 12 noon today, Tuesday 13 March, and will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 27 March 2018.

BECTU and the NUJ are strongly recommending a yes vote. After two years of negotiations, including several months of talks at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), there has been no movement on pay. The unions’ believe that industrial action is needed to send a firm message to Al Jazeera and get them back around the table.

BECTU's assistant national secretary, Gerry Carr, said:

“We have made every effort to resolve this dispute through negotiation but in spite of recent hints that funding for a pay rise might be forthcoming, we have once more met in the end with a flat refusal. We have no other option but to ballot for industrial action. A strong yes vote will strengthen the negotiators’ hands and force Al Jazeera back to the negotiating table in an attempt to resolve the dispute.”

No consolidated pay increase for four years

Since 2014, when BECTU and the NUJ won recognition for collective bargaining at the company has repeatedly failed to make any consolidated increase to salaries while the cost of living has continued to rise.

Although progress has been made in other areas of the unions’ 2015 claim, including on redundancy policy, expenses and overtime, management has declined to engage in pay negotiations.

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