The labor union of BBC started a 24-hour stoppage on May 22, causing major disruptions in their TV and radio live shows.
The BBC failed to air many live programs that day, only releasing short news briefs through its TV channels dedicated to international news, such as News 24 and BBC World. Today on Radio 4, a morning news magazine program, was also replaced by a pre-recorded program.
BBC Director General Mark Thompson sparked the industrial action by unveiling a plan to reduce some 3,700 jobs or 20 percent of the workforce over the next three years. In protest to the plan, the union held a vote to strike on May 11 in which 80 percent of union members voted in favor. BBC explains that restructuring is unavoidable to invest in program production. However, the union says that consultation with the union should precede such a massive layoff, although it agrees on the need for cost reduction.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) estimated that about 11,000 out of 27,000 BBC employees are participating in the strike.