Journalists at BBC Northern Ireland vote to strike over Radio Foyle cutbacks

Almost 83% of those who voted in the ballot backed strike action.
Journalists at BBC Northern Ireland vote to strike over Radio Foyle cutbacks

By David Young, PA

NUJ members at BBC Northern Ireland have voted to strike over cuts to the output of Radio Foyle.

Almost 83 per cent of those who voted in the National Union of Journalists ballot backed strike action.

The strike ballot came in response to cutbacks at Radio Foyle, which serves Derry city and the northwest.

The station’s flagship morning show was axed last month and replaced with a half hour news programme.

The BBC has said the reconfiguration is part of a strategy to invest in online services, including the iplayer, and has insisted compulsory redundancies have been avoided.

Of 116 valid votes cast in the ballot, 96 NUJ members in BBC NI said they were prepared to take part in strike action.

Almost 96 per cent – 111 members – also backed industrial action short of strike.


No dates for potential action have been announced and a fuller statement is expected from the NUJ on Friday.

A spokeswoman for BBC NI said: “We are disappointed NUJ members have voted in favour of industrial action in BBC NI.

“Foyle’s role as a newsgathering and production hub has been secured and it will continue to deliver great content for BBC audiences across the North West and beyond.

“As we said back in November 2022, our ambition was to achieve the savings required without the need for compulsory redundancies.

“In accordance with that commitment, suitable roles have been offered to everyone who was ‘at risk’ of redundancy.

“There will be no BBC headcount reduction in Foyle. We have moved peak and off-peak Radio Ulster programming to the North West; we reintroduced two posts which had previously been earmarked for closure; and we have retained daily news in peak-time, with an exclusively local focus.

“We will continue to work constructively with staff and the trade unions in the interests of everyone involved and the audiences we serve.”

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