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Al Jazeera staff prepare for strike action over pay

1 May 2018

Union members at Al Jazeera English in the heart of London are preparing for their first ever strike. The dispute is over the company's failure to offer a pay rise over four long years.

Working together, members of BECTU and the NUJ will stage a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 9 May running from a minute past midnight until 23.59 hours. The members set to take across work in all grades within news production and engineering.

The 24-hour strike will be followed by continuous industrial action from 10 May which will see the implementation of a work to rule, withdrawal of goodwill, a refusal to act up in senior positions or to train new starters. These are just some of 12 measures which will be enforced to underline the determination of union members to bring an end to the annual pay review drought. 

"The strike marks a new found confidence amongst union members who are no longer prepared to accept management's arrogance in respect of the annual pay review.

"The company is wealthy, being funded by the Qatari government. There is no acceptable excuse for the way the company has treated staff over the past four years," commented assistant national secretary, Gerry Carr.

The fact that it has taken four years for union members to use the weapon of last resort - strike action - to pursue their intense disappointment over the company's attitude to basic pay demonstrates the extent of their patience and their willingness to explore other ways to secure a fair reward for their contribution to the company's business. That patience, in the face of the company's continuing rejection of their claims, lies exhausted.

Support for the strike action is expected to be high with 80% of members voting for strike action on an 89% turnout in the March ballot.

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