BBC Staff Union Orders Boycott of Boss’s Broadcast Pep-Talk

16 May 2003

Near to 24,000 BBC employees in 150 corporate offices across the planet have received their summons: “Cease ye thy gainful labours, gather in thy multitudes wheresoever ye may be, switch-on the nearest monitor and hearken unto the words of thy leader.” Or as BBC director general Greg (Cut the Crap) Dyke prefers to brand his broadcast staff presentation, the Big Conversation.

The leader will today (Friday) reveal, he promised, “big, bold changes”. To be followed by an “interactive programme” and web chat. But the multitudes hearkening to the platitudes are likely to be severely curtailed by the forces of Mammon, otherwise known the National Union of Journalists.

Incensed at the allegedly unfair firing of Adli Hawwari and Abdul-Hadi Jiad, producers at the BBC's Arabic Service, the union is calling on its members to boycott the presentation by remaining at their desks, noses glued to grindstones. “We are instructing our 3,000 members at the BBC not to attend or take part in the Big Conversation,” said a spokesman.

A BBC counterpart said he was surprised at the union’s reaction. “In effect, the NUJ is boycotting its own members’ views of how to make improvements at the BBC.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff