Call for talks at BSkyB

BECTU is demanding full consultation on 330 job cuts at the satellite broadcaster.

BSkyB gave 90 days notice of the redundancies on May 8 - 300 of the cuts fall in production areas, with the remaining 30 in news.

Commentators have speculated that fears about the company's investment in Open TV, the interactive satellite service, had forced management into cost-savings at its Osterley base.

Under UK labour laws, the company is obliged to discuss the planned job cuts, either with staff representatives, or with a recognised union.

BSkyB does not recognise BECTU for collective bargaining purposes, although union officials are allowed to assist members in individual grievance and disciplinary cases.

The union is pressing the company to open formal discussions with negotiators by mounting a leaflet campaign at Osterley, and continuing its efforts to recruit members.

BECTU is also planning to use the redundancies as an example of BSkyB's failing commitment to home-produced programming. In its submission to government on the Communications White paper the union has argued that BSkyB should be subject to the same targets for local production as terrestrial broadcasters like BBC and ITV.

18 May 2001