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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
ITV staff to stage 36-hour strike
Ant and Dec
Unions warn Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway could be hit
Up to 700 ITV production staff are to stage walkouts on 8 and 9 April in a protest over pay.

Unions warned the strike, at centres across the UK, could disrupt popular shows such as Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Emmerdale.

But ITV has said it is unlikely viewers will notice any difference.

Staff in London, Manchester and Leeds will stage a 36-hour strike on 8 April with a two-hour walkout in some other areas the same day.

Members of the Bectu and Amicus broadcasting unions voted to strike after rejecting a 3.3% pay offer.

Staff living standards are being eroded year on year and they deserve a far better deal
Mike Smallwood
The action comes after ITV announced 340m pre-tax profits and a 1.9m package for chief executive Charles Allen after steering the broadcaster through its merger.

Bectu assistant general secretary Gerry Morrissey said: "It is unacceptable that ITV executives award themselves huge share bonuses but will not give their workers a decent pay rise."

Staff at London Weekend Television, Yorkshire, Granada and 3sixtymedia will take part in the 36-hour strike.

And Bectu members at ITV Central and Anglia, covering Nottingham, Birmingham and Norwich, will walk out for two hours from 1200 on 8 April.


Mike Smallwood, national officer of Amicus, said: "Our members have had enough of the company's penny-pinching when it comes to staff pay rises.

"Staff living standards are being eroded year on year and they deserve a far better deal given their contribution to the company's continuing success.

"Staff have been told that the company needs to keep pay in line with inflation - yet ITV's senior management and directors are being awarded excessive amounts.

"We want a substantial increase for our members."

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.

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