Cleaners, porters and engineers walk out

Broadcasting House in London Bectu believes the cuts will result in lower standards

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Mail deliveries, cleaning and porter services in BBC buildings may be affected on Monday by strike action.

Workers employed by the Corporation's facilities management contractor Interserve protested outside New Broadcasting House and White City offices on Monday morning over job cuts and pay.

More than 44% of those who are Bectu members took part in a ballot, which closed last week, in which more than 80% voted in favour of strikes.

They are joined by engineers - who look after things like heating, lighting, plumbing and power systems in BBC buildings - in the walkout, which will last from 9am on Monday until 9am on Tuesday.

Represented by the Unite union, the engineers are protesting against efficiency plans which they say threaten the jobs of more than half of those working at BBC offices in London and Elstree.

They will follow up Monday's strike with further action on Wednesday.

Interserve, which signed a five year deal with the BBC in April, is proposing similarly significant cuts to the numbers of porters and mail staff in London, while also looking to reduce the number of hours its cleaners work by 33%.

'In our view, people working in BBC buildings in London and Elstree will have to get used to lower standards unless Interserve are willing to negotiate change in a more responsible manner than they are at present,' said Bectu.

Interserve said it would continue to work closely with unions and staff representatives to 'try and reach a suitable agreement for all parties'.

The BBC said: 'This is a dispute between Interserve and the unions. Interserve has mitigating arrangements in place to ensure that delivery of their services to the BBC are not affected.'

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