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Siemens union threatens BBC strike

Planes, trains and now the telly?

Members of media union Bectu have voted in favour of strike action to oppose a BBC pay freeze for tech staff.

Siemens staff working at the BBC voted for action unless talks on Wednesday prove successful, after a giant outsourcing deal.

Bectu told the BBC the result on Friday and the two sides will meet again on Wednesday.

Suresh Chawla, national official at Bectu, said the union remained hopeful that a strike can still be avoided and an amicable settlement reached.

The ballot opened in late February.

Siemens took over Auntie's technology in 2004 and 1,400 staff moved across. But the deal has been widely criticised - the Public Accounts Committee said the Beeb had failed to manage the contract properly and that 60 per cent of projects were either delivered late or were over budget.

The union pay offer was made in October but rejected. Siemens offered a small rise in exchange for concessions on performance related pay which the union said its members had already rejected. ®

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