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Al Jazeera English faces industrial action

27 March 2018

BECTU members at Al Jazeera English have today voted for industrial action in their ongoing dispute over the company's failure to deliver a consolidated pay increase in any of the last four years.

Members voted 80% in favour of strike action with a vote of 86% in favour of action short of strike. Participation in the ballot was high at 89% of the membership. 

Members of the NUJ, who are partners in the joint recognition agreement with the company, also delivered a strong mandate for industrial action with 90.3% of members backing the call for action.

Gerry Carr, assistant national secretary for BECTU, said:

"If management were in any doubt about the determination of union members to secure a pay increase then the results of today's ballots make the members' position very clear. We are open to talks but if there is no meaningful discussion then notice of industrial action will be served."

No pay increase for four years

Since 2014, when BECTU and the NUJ won recognition for collective bargaining the company has repeatedly failed to make any consolidated increase to salaries despite increases in the cost of living. Although progress has been made in other areas of bargaining, including on redundancy policy, expenses and overtime, management has declined to engage with the all-important annual pay award.

Al Jazeera is owned by the Qatari government which last year committed £5bn of new investment into the UK. In addition to other substantial UK assets the Qataris own Harrods and 95% of The Shard.

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