BBC Wales strike called by Bectu and NUJ as Olympic Torch arrives

BBC Wales
Image caption The BBC says it is prepared to hold more talks

Unions representing journalists and technical staff at BBC Wales have called a 24-hour strike on the day the Olympic Torch Relay arrives in Wales.

Members of Bectu and the NUJ are walking out over the dismissal of a member of staff, who they claim was targeted due to their union activity.

A BBC Wales spokesperson has said the corporation was "committed to resolving the issue".

The strike is due to be held on Friday, 25 May.

"The industrial action is in protest at the decision by the BBC to dismiss the chair of the Bectu branch at BBC Cardiff, Heidi Williams," said Bectu assistant general secretary Luke Crawley.

"Members were outraged at the decision to dismiss their long serving branch chair and asked to be balloted for strike action."

Mr Crawley said both Bectu and NUJ members voted for strike action.

Sue Harris, NUJ national broadcasting organiser said: "NUJ members are determined to stand shoulder to shoulder with their Bectu colleagues.

"Our members have worked hard preparing for the Olympic Torch coverage but they are firm in their support of a union officer facing dismissal in this way."

Talks broke down on Thursday after 12 hours of talks with conciliation service Acas without an agreement being reached.

A BBC Cymru Wales spokesperson said: "BBC Cymru Wales is extremely disappointed that Bectu has decided to deliberately target our coverage of the Olympic Torch Relay next weekend.

"We have made a succession of significant offers in an attempt to resolve the current dispute, and we remain hopeful that an effective resolution can be reached over the coming days.

"Despite our unsuccessful meeting at Acas this week, we have asked Bectu to begin a new round of mediation with us - led this time by a judge expert in employment law."