Chanting and singing during the 1 hour protest, sparks called on public service broadcaster to give fair coverage to the 4-month dispute.


Scores of Unite electricians occupied the entrance of BBC Scotland’s headquarters in Glasgow, angry at the lack of mainstream reporting of their campaign against the threat of 35% pay cuts.

Chanting “skilled jobs for skilled workers” and singing “Jingle Bells”, the sparks called on the public service broadcaster to give fair coverage to their four-month dispute.

During the one-hour occupation, Unite members heard a report (above) from National Officer Rab Sherry, who took part in talks at ACAS, the conciliation service on Thursday with representatives of the seven rogue companies seeking to impose so-called “BESNA” conditions on the industry.

“We set down to the employers that before we do anything, we want the threat of dismissal removed from all our members.

“If they do this, then we have told them we are prepared to talk to them about the future of the industry and where we go next. The employers are holding their own talks on Monday and will respond with a statement later next week.”

Unite is preparing to re-ballot more than 1,000 members at Balfour Beatty, which it regards as the ‘ring leader’ of the seven firms. Balfours had threatened legal action to challenge a vote last month which returned an 81% majority in favour of a strike against the proposed new contracts.

Unite reps are currently preparing for a mass collective rejection of the document, which has been posted to members across the country. The union is calling on members to return the letters unsigned.

One recently elected steward told UnionNews: “Managers are using scare tactics against younger sparks and telling them lies that the union is holding up the negotiating process.

“But our message is beginning to get across and they are starting to come over to our side.”

Rank and file organisers of weekly protests at major construction projects and other sites across the UK have become increasingly dismayed at the lack of interest in media outlets over the dispute. Some believe it amounts to an editorial blackout.

Watch our film report on other recent protests:

Following the BBC action, protesters moved on to the nearby studios of independent broadcaster, STV.

Further protests are expected next week. The rank and file national committee is organising a second UK-wide day of action for 9th of January.

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