The BBC put on a brave face trying to deny the massive impact of the strike, prompting NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear to compare BBC Director General Mark Thompson to “Comical Ali standing outside Baghdad Airport saying there are no Americans in Baghdad as the troops swarm in."
The strike went ahead after marathon negotiations over draconian new pensions plans, set to be imposed by the BBC, failed to make significant changes. Under the plans BBC staff were to loose thousands of pounds after they retire and the value of their pensions will be threatened every year by inflation.
An initial industrial action ballot returned a 93% yes vote and forced the BBC to tablea further improved proposal which, they say, is now final. In the consultative ballot 70% of NUJ members rejected the proposals and the NUJ has announced industrial action.
The NUJ is planning another 48-hour strike beginning on 15/16 November and threatening further disruption over Christmas.
For live news of the strike, see the NUJ's website at www.nuj.org.uk.