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Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 16:05 GMT
Strike action threat at MTV
Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera
Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the MTV US awards
Staff members at MTV's London studios are to be balloted over possible strike action in a dispute over holiday pay and conditions.

Bectu, a union which is not recognised by MTV in negotiations, is balloting its members at the end of January.


MTV is a successful broadcaster and we would expect it to behave responsibly

Bectu spokeswoman

The union is concerned that cuts in holiday entitlement and bank holiday payments for the company's broadcast services staff are to be imposed without consent by MTV.

A plan to change contracts on New Year's Day was dropped after Bectu threatened legal action on the grounds that insufficient notice had been given to staff, according to the union.

Bectu says that despite the lack of official recognition a significant proportion of the 100-strong workforce are members.

'Industry standards'

A spokeswoman for Bectu said: "MTV is proposing cutting staff leave by a third.

"MTV is a successful broadcaster and we would expect it to behave responsibly."

But a statement released by MTV said the proposed changes would affect a small number of shift workers and not the entire broadcast services staff.


MTV sees no benefit in this matter in the involvement of a third party such as Bectu

MTV statement

It said: "The new contractual arrangements under discussion adhere fully to both the spirit and practice of current industry standards on terms and conditions for shift workers in this industry."

The Bectu spokeswoman said staff at MTV often worked unsocial hours and so any change to holiday entitlement would be "extremely unpopular".

Staff at MTV, she said, were angry about the proposed changes.

But the MTV statement said: "MTV sees no benefit in this matter in the involvement of a third party such as Bectu in these discussions.

"MTV employees have participated willingly and constructively in the consultative process."

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