Strike threat at ITN

ITN staff have called for a strike ballot if the company forces through changes in terms and conditions.

Staff at Independent Television News (ITN) have voted overwhelmingly to ballot for industrial action if management refuse to re-think proposals to alter working practices and terms and conditions of employment.

More than 200 staff gathered in central London this afternoon to register their anger at proposals which staff believe "will wreck their lives".

The proposals aim to introduce nightworking for all staff and to introduce a 5-day working week of unsocial hours.

Staff believe the measures will do fundamental damage to their quality of life and bring about a situation where mothers and fathers, for example, see time with children radically reduced. The proposals would increase childcare and transport costs at a time when the company has offered a pay increase in line with inflation, which currently stands at 1.1 %. Today staff rejected that pay offer as insulting.

The joint unions, BECTU and the NUJ, are to seek an urgent meeting with management. If the proposals are not withdrawn or radically altered a formal dispute will be registered leading to a ballot for industrial action.

BECTU official Sharon Elliott said: "We hope that management will recognise that their proposals have no support. Our meeting today was attended by union and non-union members, all of whom were unanimous in their opposition."

"ITN staff have bent over backwards in recent years to embrace new technology and new working patterns. Staff have done everything that has been asked of them and received little in exchange. Staff have reached the end of the line," commented Sharon Elliott.

3 November 1999