22 April 2010
BECTU has today (Thursday) reiterated its support for union members who, as a matter of conscience, decline to work on election broadcasts by the British National Party.
Union general secretary, Gerry Morrissey said:
"BECTU’s advice to its members is that where they are requested to work on a BNP party political broadcast and do not wish to do so, then in the first instance they must advise their line manager and also inform BECTU. Past experience suggests that broadcasters have ensured that those, who, as a matter of conscience, do not wish to work on such productions are rostered to other work."
The union has stated that where an employer insists that an individual works on a BNP broadcast, despite a request for release from the individual, that the member should inform BECTU without delay.
"In the event that a member faces disciplinary action, then BECTU will give its full support to the member," said Gerry Morrissey.
The union's circular to reps makes it clear that the advice is not intended to embargo normal editorial references to the BNP.
The advice is consistent with the position adopted by BECTU over many years.
The threats posed by the BNP to the UK's multi-cultural society have been highlighted on several occasions by union representatives in recent months.
Racism, sexism and homophobia
In March the union's delegation to the Womens' TUC highlighted the racial and sexual discrimination and homophobia which lies at the centre of BNP policy. (Read the full delegates' report by equality officer Kate Elliott).
In September 2009 the union was firm in its criticism of the BBC for its decision to grant the BNP a platform on Question Time.