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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 17:29 GMT
ITV staff to strike over pay deal
Strike dates will be announced after Easter
ITV production staff have voted to strike over pay, threatening disruption to shows such as Coronation Street.

Broadcasting union Bectu said 55% of its members voted in favour of walkouts over a 3.3% pay offer.

Bectu assistant general secretary Gerry Morrissey said staff were angry at large share bonuses for executives.

The company said the "fair and reasonable" offer was above inflation and included an extra day's holiday to celebrate ITV's 50th anniversary.

An ITV spokeswoman said: "We remain in continual dialogue with our local shop stewards and we do not believe that this current situation will disrupt our business or affect the programming on offer to our viewers."

ITV said only 37% of those balloted actually voted, with 268 unions members voting for the strike out of a workforce of 6,000.

We do not believe that this current situation will disrupt our business or affect the programming on offer to our viewers
ITV spokeswoman

The union expects to announce dates for strikes after Easter.

The strike vote was in response to the 3.3% pay rise offered to staff, weeks after ITV announced yearly pre-tax profits of 340m.

ITV said it believed its pay offer was fair when combined with the promise of a minimum salary of 13,500 and an extra day's holiday to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Postal votes

ITV has gone through a turbulent time in the past year after a restructure following the merger of Carlton and Granada, leading to the of loss of hundreds of jobs.

Votes were cast by postal ballot from production centres in Manchester, Leeds, Norwich, Birmingham and Nottingham.

Staff at two of its London sites, including London Studios, are also due to take action.

The strike announcement comes the day after unions warned BBC staff could be balloted for a strike in protest at swingeing job cuts.

Three unions have jointly demanded a three-month moratorium on the planned cuts, which are aimed at saving 355 million a year.

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