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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May, 2005, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Should BBC staff strike over cuts?
BBC staff working in a television studio in Millbank
BBC journalists and technicians have staged a 24-hour strike following their row with management over job cuts.

The action had a major impact on BBC programmes, with Radio 4's flagship news programme Today replaced with pre-recorded material.

BBC employees are protesting at plans to cut 3,780 jobs and privatise parts of the corporation. The corporation says they are needed so the BBC can invest more in programmes.

What is your reaction to the BBC strike? What do you think of the plan to cut jobs?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I don't care how the BBC runs its business or sorts out its problems. I do object to the general public suffering a lack of service when it pays through the nose in licence fees. Is our society not grown up enough to sort out theses things without spitting out its dummy whenever something doesn't go a certain way?
Nicola Owen, Stourbridge

I can understand BBC staff's frustration at job losses. It is particularly important for the reasons to be clearly explained to employees. Privatising, which has been a gradual process over time, to reduce the overheads of paying constant salaries and NI but this does not cut much ice with people who will have to try and find other jobs.
Alastair Clarke, Leamington Spa UK

If the writing is on the wall, you either take it lying down or you fight for your job
Chris, Colchester
The strike may well be futile, may well not have public support, and may even hasten these folks' own demise. Yet, be under no illusion, the decision to strike is not the first or favourite option - loss of pay, goodwill, all have to be taken into account. But what else are they to do, when management refuse to negotiate? If the writing is on the wall, you either take it lying down or you fight for your job. For the above reasons I support the strikers.
Chris, Colchester

There's no direct correlation between numbers of people employed and quality of product. How people can reach the conclusion that the BBC would be a worse organisation for becoming modern and efficient is beyond me.
David, Leicester, UK

Ditch the entire BBC for all I care. I'll keep my licence fee and spend it on Sky television.
Tony S, UK

These strikes are a manifestation of the predictable and perpetual decline of an out-of-touch, outdated and irrelevant dinosaur of an institution that is bound to be scrapped in the 21st Century. It will go the way of the Dodo much like Alders and Index have done. It is a hopeless and pathetic basket-case, awaiting the small mercy of being jugulated and dissected for it's offal like Rover will be.
GC, Essex England

They can protest all they want, the simple fact is that the BBC is doing what all businesses do once and a while: downsize.
D Burnham, UK

Has Mark Thompson Taken a pay cut to help in saving money at the Beeb?
Lorenzo St Dubois, London

The strike is over planned job cuts. The planned job cuts are a result of the government's demands that the BBC becomes more commercialised. The Government is under intense lobbying from ITV and Rupert Murdoch to remove the taxpayer subsidy. If this happens, ultimately the BBC will then be open to takeover. My guess is that Sky or Carlton/Granada will then pitch for all or some of its business. Then all those who moan about the BBC's repeats, daytime output and dumbing down will have their wish. The BBC will then offer the same thrilling, innovative, investigative, minority, and original works as currently churned out by the Murdoch satellite channels.
Jon, London, UK

Let's call the TV licence what it is - a regressive TV Poll Tax where millionaires pay the same as disabled people living in poverty. This tax is then used to fund the expensive lifestyles of gormless TV chefs and anodyne lifestyle programme presenters. Most of the management and senior positions at the BBC are drawn from a self-serving, autocratic Oxbridge elite who have lived too long off the public purse. Yes, we should have good, well prepared journalism but so much output is contrived guff, produced by middle-class trendies who are desperate to be popular.
Andrew, London

If I went on strike, I would get a P45. The right to strike should be universal or should not exist. It isn't fair that only public sector workers can down tools.
KJ, London

What a waste of public money all this is
Stuart Morgan, Gosport, Hants
What a waste of public money all this is. Why not scrap the licence fee and have advertising like everyone else? It's not like we don't get ad breaks anyway. There are four BBC adverts between programmes only last night and they were all advertising the BBC! If the taxpayers don't fund it then it will have to be run like a business and sink or swim. I would like to see it swim but not with me paying for the lessons.
Stuart Morgan, Gosport, Hants

The BBC is an unreconstructed leftist 1960s organisation. The strike just confirms this. Your time is past.
Mike, UK

I see the strike hasn't halted transmission of the "new look" weather forecasts. Shame!
Howard, UK

Of course the BBC staff should strike - if they don't do something, the BBC's pre-eminent position in the world in terms of fair, accurate and unbiased news coverage will be lost forever - all in the name of rationalisation.
Brian Tomlinson, Derby

Please come back, BBC! I was reduced to watching GMTV, which proved to me that you often don't appreciate what you have until you no longer have it.
Bill, London, UK

I absolutely support the right to collective bargaining and the withholding of labour. These are cornerstones of an equitable society. But the unions need to engage with the change process at the BBC, not just shake their heads and demand that no jobs are lost. The unions should aim to get the best possible outcome for both the workers and the institution, and that means give and take on both sides.
Duncan Hothersall, Edinburgh

It is unprofessional to strike
Alex, Macclesfield, UK
Whilst I sympathise with those at risk of redundancy, I completely disagree with the way it has been handled. It is unprofessional to strike and will only lose the BBC the people that should matter...the taxpayer.
Alex, Macclesfield, UK

Where do people get the idea that the BBC is over-staffed from? Maybe decades ago this was true but since then there have been other big cuts in job numbers and a huge increase in television, radio and web output. Presumably such remarks come from people whose only contact with television production happens in their living rooms and who think that they could run a TV station from their bedrooms with an old PC and a video camera?
Christina, Reading, UK

The workers and the unions are right to strike. They are defending a culture and ethic at the BBC that has maintained good quality and objective news coverage with good programming. If the public want to complain about "poor" programming etc then they should pay more for their licence fee and not force unjustified cuts on the workforce.
Tom Blenkinsop, Middlesbrough

Try fostering and valuing in-house talent
Nick Adams, Dublin, Ireland
Hopefully, the strikers will achieve their goal and halt the plans to cut thousands of jobs. When will BBC bosses realise that privatisation and out-sourcing are not and never will be the answer. Instead try fostering and valuing in-house talent.
Nick Adams, Dublin, Ireland

Perhaps if the BBC started to pay realistic wages to its high profile "employees" then it could afford to maintain some production staff. Another idea would be to cease broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest.
Colin Wall, Rochester, Kent

I wonder why they are only making four thousand people redundant. Even if the BBC cut ninety per cent of its jobs it would still be over-staffed.
Jack Lonsdale, London, UK

There has been only one source of information we always relied on whenever we encountered a crisis. And now vultures like Mr Thompson want to take it away under the rubric of "improvement, outsourcing and development". Let the BBC remain the BBC. It is a unique source of information in the world.
Haidar Agha, Lahore, Pakistan

And so it seems - the last of the two remaining things that make the "Great" in Britain (BBC and PO) are to be paired down and progressively sold off so that a few people can benefit from what our society has paid for over many decades. This action is only designed to appease the monopolies in waiting. I'd rather have an independent BBC well staffed and smooth running than advertising any day.
Bob Greenyer, Burgess Hill, UK

I am greatly disturbed that the BBC is considering privatisation. It is a shame that the employees are having to strike to drive home the lesson that we have learned in the US - that the business pressures have destroyed quality broadcast journalism in this country. It takes people, bodies on the ground, to do news. As a former journalist, now in software development, I was never at, nor saw, a news organisation that was helped by staff cuts or had the quality of its product improved.
Lee, Houston, Texas, USA

Thousands too many journalists
Phil Dibb, Petersfield, England
The BBC has thousands too many journalists. How many are camped out in California at the moment to cover the Michael Jackson trial? How many radio newsrooms are there? (One for each channel when one for the network would suffice). You lot go on strike, we listen to local radio and watch the ITV news. Get real.
Phil Dibb, Petersfield, England

I support the strike by BBC staff defending an organisation which consistently produces quality programming in a world increasingly dominated by low budget brain numbing pap. I believe there is an agenda to weaken the BBC prior to increasing deregulation of the broadcast sphere.
Anthony, Liverpool, UK

Business is changing, many companies have shown that after streamlining themselves they become more efficient, competitive and profits increase allowing growth. Business is business and the BBC must be allowed to continue to produce cutting edge TV in an efficient, value for money way, so why employ more people that what it takes. I am sure decisions such as this would not have been taken lightly.
Paul Mackay, Glasgow

I have no idea about pay scales at the BBC, but it does seem ludicrous to make such drastic cuts. This can only be counter-productive to making ever more excellent programmes. I am with you workers!
Anne Michie, Barcelona, Spain.

The BBC must remember that it is not only valued for its impartiality but is also a respected news organisation around the world. The organisation's efforts to cut costs through redundancies and making staff take on additional workload is sending out the wrong signal to news companies that more can be done with less without quality being affected.
Jay, Singapore

Those who have gone into work have signalled their approval of job cuts. Let them now show the courage of their convictions and volunteer for any redundancies that the defenders of the BBC cannot prevent.
Jim Young, Hull, UK

If the BBC gets the same output with fewer people then they should cut jobs, simple as that. Get rid of people surplus to requirement. Isn't that what's happening to the NHS.
Nabil Ali, Cambridge, England

I wish the strikers the very best of luck in attempting to preserve what is left of the production and distribution arms of the BBC. Broadcasting currently seems to be going through the break up that the film industry had in the 1970s and the 1980s. It was in private hands and look what we have left!
Stuart Britton, Southampton

I will be expecting discount in the licence fee I next pay. I don't pay for a product and get half of its service; the licence fee should be no different!!
John, Bangor, County Down, Ireland

I we very roughly say the BBC has lost one fifth of it's output yesterday, then all those people demanding refunds should expect to get back about 7 pence, for the loss of programs today. I think this shows what amazing value we get for our licence fee. I for one would happily pay more, if programmes were returned to the quality output of time past.
Phil, Stockton on Tees

It's about time this centralised institution had some cuts
Joe, Milton Keynes, UK
It's about time this centralised institution had some cuts. It is us the taxpayers who are forced to pay for it - and this way perhaps some money will be saved.
Joe, Milton Keynes, UK

Jobs are continually bleeding from this country. If its not downsizing for so called efficiency. It exporting them to slave pay countries. Is this the start of the workers taking a stand? I hope so.
Alan Sturges, Kentmere, England

Please do not allow the BBC to fall into the same trap as their American counterparts. The BBC has been a long respected news service long before I was born and should remain that way. The BBC should realize that the non-commercialization of the network is their biggest strength. Please keep info-tainment OUT of the BBC!
Patrick Hanley, Utrecht, Netherlands

Well all the BBC seems two need these days are a couple of builders with camcorders and a trained monkey to hit play on a VCR, and bore us to obesity with endless repeats of stuff that used to be good and entertaining about twenty years ago. Stay out on strike News24 been the best programme you have shown on BBC1 for 20 years! I want a licence refund backdated to 1985 when Eastenders signalled the end of creativity in the BBC
Anon, N.Ireland

Here in NZ we've seen what happens when you dispense with a license fee and rely on advertising. You get 25 minutes (yes! 25 minutes!!) of advertising in every hour and the vast majority of programmes are imported. You poms should thank your lucky stars you have the BBC, both for itself and for the way it drives up the quality levels on all your channels. Once you lose it, you'll never get it back. It's not broke, don't fix it.
Allan, Auckland, New Zealand

In places like Argentina, the BBC is perhaps the only source of serious information and quality TV. Don't let a strike stop all of that.
G Mesuno, Buenos Aires, Argentina

How refreshing to see the ten o clock news tonight - straight reports, no hand waving idiots. It was wonderful to have a report on each item rather than correspondents being interviewed as experts. Please continue this reporting rather than trying to explain matters as though we are idiots. The strikers may have shot themselves in the foot - the news was so much better without them.
Alistair Mackay, Cromer, UK

The BBC is the one of the last remaining quality broadcasters, interested in something other than profits. Please let's keep it that way. We really don't want to go the way of advertising fuelled reality TV pulp as in America and Australia.
Dave Caygill, London, UK

Well done BBC staff for taking a stand against the outrageous proposals from the management, which not only strike at the heart of the BBC but will have serious implications for the UK economy and cultural life. I demand that my licence fee is used to make quality programmes and not to be squandered on needless and unwelcome redundancy packages.
Dave, Edinburgh

The BBC is considered by most European people to be far the best thing modern Britain offers the world
Adam Kane, Hamburg
Believe me, the BBC is considered by most European people to be far the best thing modern Britain offers the world. They are so respected because it is thought of as a worldwide institution whose principles cannot be bought. To privatise the BBC would damage the BBC's and Britain's media and journalistic reputation beyond repair. What makes the BBC the greatest and by far the best broadcasting service in the world are its gifted, talented and dedicated workers not its management.
Adam Kane, Hamburg, Germany

The BBC should be run like a business. If job cuts are needed to allow investment for the future then, unfortunately, that's a tough decision that has to be made.
Daniel, Bern, Switzerland

Good luck to all on strike, especially to those who are under threat of redundancy. As a wise man once said, we're best when we're boldest, and the BBC needs to stay as the world's best broadcaster - setting a standard to raise the game of commercial competitors and providing a decent service for those who can't afford the alternatives. These cuts can only reduce what the BBC is capable of, and the Governors need a bolder vision than this.
John Wood, London, UK

Of course they should strike. If the BBC wants to save money, our licence fee money, let them cut programmes like the Saturday Lottery rubbish.
Rose H Hall, Northolt, Middlesex

Will there be any jobs left in this country?
Sue, Brighton
I was interested in Ant of Northampton's comments re 4,000 jobs to go at Abbey. That's on top of the 4,000 at the BBC, 5,000 at Rover, other jobs at Marconi - and the high street banks are closing down centres and outsourcing all the time. I work for Lloyds TSB and have just been told my job is going this year. Will there be any jobs left in this country?
Sue, Brighton, UK

As a public service worker myself, and a trade union activist, I fully support the striking workers. Keep public services public!
Tom, Exeter, UK

Anybody that would charge people for a license to own a TV won't get sympathy from me. I thought this was one of the silliest charges they make the British people pay I have ever heard. The BBC needs to clean its act and start with Channel One.
Keith Myers, Dallas Texas USA

Of course they should strike. The job cuts have little to do with saving money but more to do with clipping the wings of the BBC.
T Newman, Bournemouth, UK

I was a good 15mins late for work this morning thanks to a lack of Today programme. How am I supposed to live without it?
Benedict Stoddart, London, UK

Today, for the first time, I watched the ITN News Channel over breakfast. It was entertaining, accurate, funny, had no Natasha Kaplinski, had symbols on its weather map, and wasn't spouting whatever The Guardian said was the "correct opinion" on an issue - it was brilliant! I for one will never go back to News 24. Well done strikers for showing how useless and over-hyped the Beeb really is.
Jonathan, London

I understand the frustration, but striking surely won't help at all
Jo Gaston, Dorset
I understand the frustration, but striking surely won't help at all. If I were the BBC Director General it would just make me more determined to get rid of the troublesome staff, rather than keep them on and let them know that whenever something they don't like comes along they simply have to strike and things will be done their way.
Jo Gaston, Poole, Dorset

Good luck to the strikers - I hope they force a change of heart at the top. I'm a journalist and every company I have ever worked for seemed to believe that one person should be made to do the work of five for half the pay they got the previous year. Standards slipped, but those in charge didn't care as long as they made some savings.
Alex, London

The BBC is the best in the world for news and sport. I know, I have lived abroad. If cuts need to be made they should come from less important areas. I mean, do we really need those annoyingly awful adverts for upcoming shows? Isn't it time to bury Eastenders? Isn't it time the BBC returned to what it does best: educate and inform? These people are striking to save the BBC from itself.
Andrew, Nantwich, Cheshire

This is not the most important news story for the rest of us
Hugh Beighton
This is not the most important news story for the rest of us. It certainly should not be the lead item on the 6 o'clock news on Radio Four.
Hugh Beighton

To those who say that so "many of the comments come from abroad" therefore, we have no knowledge of paying for a TV licence. We have cable, satellite options. I personally have cable and pay over $100 per month for approximately 80 channels. That comes out to far more than your 122 pounds per year. I watch a mere handful of channels because we cannot choose which ones, so end up paying for ones we don't want or need. You at least have quality programming, so don't let that slide.
BN, USA

Sack the lot of them!
Morris Tyler, Maidenhead, Berkshire

In the private sector, where most of people work, the strikers would now be getting P45s and people actually wanting jobs brought into replace them.
Mark, London

I wonder if the licence fee collectors are on strike today, too?
Tom, Scotland

Yes they are right to strike it's every man's right as long as the proper procedures are followed.
John McGregor, Stirling, Scotland.

11,000 people don't turn up and the BBC can barely broadcast programmes that have already been made, let alone make new programmes. If 4,000 jobs are cut permanently, it is clear that standards in programming will drop considerably. Everybody wants to get value for money from the BBC, but getting rid of so many people is clearly going to have the opposite effect.
Shalim, London, United Kingdom

Every big time company needs its workers to go on strike once in a while
Sarah Wright, California
Every big time company needs its workers to go on strike every once in a while. It lets the company know that they need their employees.
Sarah Wright, Woodland, California, USA

Fantastic! Please go on strike again. The lunchtime news actually had news instead of the usual half hour of annoying argumentative political interviews and pointless discussion. Give us more news every day like this.
Barry Edwards, Barnstaple, England

The BBC is a public utility and we appoint it to provide us with an objective view of the world through it its news service. This is why I'm happy to see it as a public service and why I'm appalled that Mark Thompson is trying to privatise it. If we relied on Rupert Murdoch to provide us with a window on the world, what would it look like?
Stuart, UK

I'm much more concerned about Billie Piper leaving Doctor Who
Tony Hillman, London
As the BBC seems to be able to manage without 11,000 staff today it should be easy to get by with 7,000 more than that after the cuts. I'm much more concerned about Billie Piper leaving Doctor Who.
Tony Hillman, London, England

Welcome to the real world BBC, no jobs for life any more, ask British Airways!
Clive Williams, Bridgwater, Somerset

Please strike again soon. Waking up to Just a Minute was a real treat - it's put me in a great mood all day!
Cathy, London, UK

Other channels stay on air cost free to the public. I don't see why we pay a TV licence when I only ever watch DVDs on my TV. I'm sure if the BBC charged a subscription fee instead of a compulsory licence they would lose a lot of customers. Scrap the fee go private and see what happens.
Alex Wells, Surrey UK

It really is time to abolish the licence fee, privatise the BBC, and force the BBC to compete with other broadcasters. Then BBC employees would not have time to think about striking.
Ian Crompton, Derby, England

If the BBC wishes to continue charging a licence fee it must improve its output. Hopefully these cuts will be beneficial!
Hamish McIntyre, London

Good luck to all BBC staff and their fight to save their jobs.
Alan Thomson, Swansea Wales

BBC employees are part of the over-paid over-rated under-worked elite of this country and if their product is a reflection of their true abilities I would get rid of the lot of them and shut up the shop.
William Orr, Glasgow

There's nothing else like the BBC in the world
Michael Curry, Prague
There's nothing else like the BBC in the world - more than any diplomacy or military, the BBC is the greatest modern English contribution to the world. It isn't perfect but it's structure is unique and should be maintained. There are plenty of alternatives but they're all directed foremost by commercial interests.
Michael Curry, Prague, CZ

I've paid my licence fee every year since it was introduced in 1946 at a rate of 2 a year and haven't begrudged paying it once. I rely on the BBC to entertain me and to keep me abreast of what's happening in the world. And what a great job they do! Balanced news, brilliant comedy, gripping drama across TV, radio and web. Job cuts will only lead to a decline in the quality of this great British institution. I'm right behind the Beeb workers.
Bill Stitt, Edinburgh, Scotland

Mr Thompson has a clear mandate from the government to damage the BBC so it will think twice before it again accuses them of lying just because they are. Arguments about "loss of quality" hold no sway in that context, and I fear that the strike might serve his goal, not hinder it. Who thinks for a minute that this wasn't an expected, if not contrived, event?
Anon, London

I begrudge paying my fees as I hardly ever watch the BBC
Sharon, Nottingham
I sympathise with the staff who are about to lose their jobs. It must be awful being faced with unemployment. It's time the BBC came into the 21st Century and scrapped the TV licence and increased funds through advertising instead. I begrudge paying my fees as I hardly ever watch the BBC but we're not even given the choice - it's either pay or be fined.
Sharon, Nottingham, UK

I would be the first to criticise the BBC for red tape and bureaucracy, however as a member of staff I am acutely aware of diminishing budgets for programmes, resulting in overworked staff trying their best to make formatted programmes in even less time with even less people. The BBC should get rid of managers, not the production and craft staff it has spent years training.
E Ditor, London

I'd like to say thanks to Chris Moyles keeping standards up on Radio 1 this morning. I don't know whether he had lost some of his support staff or not - his professionalism made it unnoticeable. Either his entire team turned up for work (which I doubt) or there's definite justification for job cuts.
Alex, Aylesbury, UK

Just a minute' on Radio 4 at 7.30 this morning instead of John Humphries going on about post offices - or whatever! Fantastic.
Anna Walters, London, UK
We have such "fluff" news here. I can say I watch the BBC news daily, and I enjoy your shows on the internet. I trust you more than our US affiliates. Power to the workers, however, I am one and I identify with them.
Elizabeth Anderson, Yuba City, California, USA

Is a 24 hour strike amongst the journalists at one TV station really the top news item of the day? Perhaps the strike is also symptomatic of the BBC's sense of self importance.
Chris Jones, Romsey, UK

Yes, it's vital that staff strike today. The BBC leads the way in good journalism. Without the BBC website, plenty of people overseas wouldn't have a clue what's really going on.
Kate Griffin, Oxford

'Just a minute' on Radio 4 at 7.30 this morning instead of John Humphries going on about post offices - or whatever! Fantastic.
Anna Walters, London, UK

The Strikers should have a good look at themselves and ask if they would employ so many people if it were their business. There is no excuse for over manning. As a licence payer I demand an efficient BBC, not a gravy train for under worked luvvies
Lindsay Graves, Doncaster, England

If cuts are to be made, please can you construct a new program by blending the Today Program and 'Just a Minute', retaining Sarah Montague. Many thanks.
Marc , Reading

I gather the purpose of the strike is to show the BBC how necessary all of their jobs are, and thus will not be cut. However all they are showing is that the Beeb can get along just fine without them. Perhaps more job cuts on the way?
Chris B, Bradford

I think that the strike is understandable, but this downsizing will be good for the BBC in the long term. Because I believe that the more spare money BBC has the more money BBC will have to invest in technology and in better programmes.
Herbert, Rio de Janeiro , Brazil

The jobs are probably going to India. Everyone else cuts jobs and creates them there as wages etc are cheaper. Could be interesting if that happened. Imagine trying to ring your local BBC office and speaking to someone in India. Seriously they are just making things worse. What with satellite, cable and freeview television, there are plenty of alternatives. I don't think the BBC will exist in the future.
J Hodgson, Swindon, UK

I have no problem with the BBC staff striking. That's their decision. However, this directly affects the people who are forced to pay the licence fee just for having a TV in their home. It is time to make the BBC accountable. Cut the cord and let advertising dictate their future.
Ian Davies, London, England

In this case striking is a complete waste of time. There are to many alternative news and TV channels out there for the public to be effected by this action.
Suresh, London

The Top executives are wrong. The BBC is living heritage, and they should understand. They are not selling herrings or tomatoes. It is costly and many people are needed to keep the quality. The services of BBC are of values for all the world community.
Nagayo, Brussels

The BBC, while not perfect, is by far the greatest broadcaster in the world. Experience shows (with railways, hospitals etc) that cutting jobs does not lead to higher, but in fact lower quality. I fully support the workers, in defending their jobs.
Sheamus Sweeney, Dublin, Ireland

It might play into the hands of those who wish to cut the BBC 'down to size'
Andrew, Spain
They have a perfect right to strike if they wish, but it might very well play into the hands of those who wish to cut the BBC "down to size".
Andrew, Spain

Yes they should strike! Privatisation is not the answer.
Rich, Bristol

I'm concerned that jobs will be lost at the BBC, but it was very refreshing listening to Radio 4 this morning. There was Jazz, Engineering Solutions, Just a Minute. I didn't miss the rudeness or the aggressive interviewing technique of the Today programme. More entertainment please and less news, gives you a better start to the day.
E Kelly, Chelmsford. Essex

You have no choice about paying the licence fee, even if you don't watch BBC channels. If you don't have a lot of money, it's expensive. While most agree you need a national broadcaster, the BBC has a duty to be efficient as possible.
Peter Sharpe, Camberwell, London

The unions approach to this echoes the problems of union power in the 70's. Inconveniencing your customers and causing disruption is no way to demonstrate the value of the services the BBC provides. As a huge fan of the corporation's output, interrupting the Today programme does not in any way make me want to support their cause.
Simon Howard, Ketton, Rutland

It won't achieve anything except affecting striker's pay packets
Jason, Manchester
No they shouldn't strike... BBC services are moving to us in the north west anyway which means that some jobs won't be tenable in the near future. It won't achieve anything except affecting striker's pay packets
Jason, Manchester, UK

No they should not! How do I get a proportional refund of my TV license. I am paying for a service that is now not being provided due to industrial action!
David Warburton, UK

I think the BBC is being severely mismanaged. At the end of the day we will all lose out unless something is done. The trouble is I don't think strikes are enough.
Mark, Southampton, UK

Staff and managers at BBC get real! Talking solves issues; striking (withdrawing labour and service) helps no one. As a public service organisation the BBC (staff & mangers) have a public to serve, and a duty to speak truth unto nations. As a former freelance it does appear that staff numbers are overpopulated, and judging by comments on a flight back from Ukraine (Eurovision Contest over) many BBC staff have over inflated opinions of their worth to licence payers. Solve the issues amicably.
Pietro, Bristol, England

They've got the right to strike and they're using it to protest against cost cutting headcount reductions and privatising parts of the BBC. The BBC's a national service and looking at the effect the cost-cutting and privatisation had on the rail service. You've got to wonder how we've learnt so little from experience as to question why the BBC staff are out on strike today...
C Abernethy, Reading, UK

I'm proud of all the BBC staff who've gone to work today. It's nice to know lots of BBC workers still respect the viewers and listeners.
Gavin, Wales

Poor Natasha Kaplinsky seems to be presenting absolutely everything. I cannot see how they can make further cuts
Dominic, Surrey
If behind the scenes is as threadbare as front of screen then serious questions must be asked. Poor Natasha Kaplinsky seems to be presenting absolutely everything. I cannot see how they can make further cuts, other than follow some of the commercial stations and show 'exciting' programmes of people/celebrities sleeping.
Dominic, Surrey

Why such massive job cuts so suddenly? I'm not surprised BBC staff are striking. They must feel quite undervalued. I would.
Tony Erwood, Shetland U.K.

The right to strike is an universal right, whether you agree with the strikers or not. Besides, strike for the wrong reasons and you lose your customers. But that is the responsibility of the strikers. As an outsider, you rarely are in a position to evaluate whether a given union action should or should not take place
Ronald, St. Job in 't Goor, Belgium

I've never known News 24 to be so focused and well presented. Can the unions go on strike more often please?
Martin Hoscik, London

It's funny how many people who support this strike are from abroad and therefore don't have to pay the disgraceful licence fee. They may feel differently if they did.
Neil Meadows, UK

Whilst I love the BBC, and listen to Radio 4's "Today" programme most mornings, the fact it wasn't on this morning didn't exactly cause me major disruption, and the fact the BBC isn't a commercial organisation means the strike won't affect the BBC's income. The only result is that the BBC will save the strikers' wages for the day!
Charles Peters, London, England

I fully support the protesting people. At least they have to option to voice their opinion. 4,000 jobs to go at Abbey and we can't say or do a thing.
Ant, Northampton

I fully support the striking staff. Privatisation does not have a history of improving public services. What we will end with is biased, sloppy reporting like Sky, CNN and the other American News channels.
Manmohan Tagore, Edinburgh

I wholeheartedly support the strikers. Anyone who doesn't misunderstands what trade unions are for. And I am amazed that those who are demanding a portion of the licence fee back are using the BBC website to say so. Have they honestly missed the irony?
Beck Hurst, London, UK

Of course they should strike to defend their jobs! In no way can the BBC be considered an essential service and there is no one is going to suffer from a strike there. Striking is everybody's democratic right.
Richard, Bristol, UK

Someone has to pay the wages of these overpaid over resourced workers. Us!
Ralph, Plymouth
As a single person paying 122 license fee for the dubious pleasure of maintaining the BBC I am appalled at the strike action. Someone has to pay the wages of these overpaid over resourced workers. Us! Welcome to the real world BBC staff, and get back to work.
Ralph, Plymouth

I see the same tired old "I'm forced to buy a license even though I don't watch BBC" comments are coming out - here's news: you have the choice not to have a license by not having a telly, but people who don't have a telly barely have any choice about whether or not to buy products which advertise on commercial TV and the basic Sky subscription fee pays for nothing more than the maintenance of a subscription system, all of its programme *buying* is paid for by adverts as well !
Simon Gray, Birmingham

The BBC is one of Britain's last great publicly funded corporations. It is also one of the most successful and recognised brand names worldwide. To have this great institution privatised would be very sad indeed, and not necessarily good for the BBC's viewers and listeners. Look at the privatisation of the railways as an example. Did they get any better? No.
Alex Baker, Reading

Privatisation is both unnecessary and potentially damaging to the principle of the BBC. It would merely act as a constraint on the BBC's current capacity to report impartially and hold dishonest governments to account. For this reason the strike should receive our full support.
Laura, Kyoto city, Japan

I can't believe there are people suggesting to scrap the fee. The BBC produce the greatest TV there is on this planet, thanks to that very fee. Scrap the strike, more like. It won't achieve a thing except annoy the general public.
Soong, Brighton, England

I listened to radio 4 from 7am through to 9.30 today, and it's been the best programming I've heard.
Chris Allsopp, Nottingham

With the planned job cuts and strike, does that mean that the consumers will get cheaper or refund on their TV licences? Although the BBC is a Corporate entity, the consumers should be consulted on major decisions, including strikes by staff members.
Farouk Abdullah, Armadale, Scotland

I think the BBC are between a rock and a hard place. The rock is the government and their agenda for the BBC and the hard place is the unions and those threatened with redundancy. The uniqueness of the BBC's funding position means that it is an easy target for those whose agenda is for change and rightly or wrongly those running the BBC have to try to navigate a path to ensure the continuity of the corporation, its aims and values. Change is not always good but sometimes there are no choices.
Chris Coopey, Hove, UK

We all tend to take the quality of the BBC for granted. Outsourcing can be disastrous for quality. We need the BBC to develop, but not to be ripped apart. This strike draws attention to a situation that will influence the future of our culture. That can only be a good thing.
Lukas Bernstein, London, UK

I think that the BBC should concentrate on cutting costs in newsgathering anyway. Radio Five Live and Radio Four and BBC News 24, BBC network news and BBC World need to work much closer together to cut the number of correspondents sent to cover one event, when only one really needs to be sent in many cases, for example the Pope's funeral and other large events. Also they could axe newsreaders in pairs, why is it necessary to have two people reading the news, with some exceptions this could cut hundreds of thousands from the News budget at the BBC.
Rob, UK

Everybody has a right to strike. It's a fundamental in civilised society that people can withdraw their labour of they feel aggrieved.
Jack, Essex

The BBC is the most important broadcaster in the world today with an emphasis on truth and accuracy as opposed to hype and ratings. The best news coverage shouldn't be in danger from penny pinching. Privatising the BBC would be a disaster - the last thing we need is another Sky news.
Dermot, Dublin

They are entitled to withdraw their labour but they take the risk that the viewers won't notice the difference
Colin, Portsmouth
I am a regular reader of BBC News and watcher of BBC World and very happy with the provided service. I do not believe it will improve by cutting 3780 jobs. The managers who failed to discover they had a surplus of so many people should be sacked in the first place. I am not so sure about the success of the strike but anyway you have my support.
Jos Marante, Lisbon, Portugal

Fantastic. It was a pleasure listening to "Just A Minute" on the way to work this morning. The only let down was that "Sorry I haven't a clue" was on too late. How about doing it more often??
Ian, Northwich, UK

Just like anyone else they are entitled to withdraw their labour BUT they take the risk that the viewers won't notice the difference.
Colin, Portsmouth

Good Luck to the strikers! There are plenty of eager people wanting to get into the media industry though so watch your backs!
Steven, Birmingham

To all those wanting their license fee refunded - you really do appear smug, greedy, and reactionary.
Andre, London




SEE ALSO:
Unions announce BBC strike dates
12 May 05 |  Entertainment
Q&A: BBC strike
11 May 05 |  Entertainment
At-a-glance: BBC job cuts
21 Mar 05 |  Entertainment



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