‘THE BBC says it subscribes to “BBC values”, but it would appear BBC Values do not apply to contractors such as Aramark.’
BECTU General Secretary Tony Lennon was talking outside Bush House in central London yesterday lunchtime, where 100 BBC workers came out to demonstrate in support of 10 sacked colleagues from the World Service canteen.
Lennon said: ‘These are not highly paid workers at all, Aramark pay wages at or only just above the minimum wage, in marked contrast to the fantastic wages the BBC executives pay themselves.’
Sacked worker Joyce Danso told News Line: ‘They have used refurbishment of the canteen as an excuse to make us redundant. We are not going to just let them get away with it.’
Fellow sacked worker Ernest Omane said: ‘We are proud fellow Bectu members came out to support us here today, and the NUJ. Now we need more action. The unions shouldn’t let it drop because if they get away with what they’ve done to us they will do it to everyone.’
Ash Akram said: ‘There are ten of us. We are very tight-knit and we are determined to win justice.’
Tanya Pearson said: ‘I’ve worked here for six years and they’ve made sure that my family and myself are not going to have a pleasant Christmas. All I’d like to say to Aramark is thanks for being so kind and caring to my children – not!’
Pat Styles, Bectu National Officer, said: ‘We are in dispute with the BBC, but it’s a wider issue. Aramark deliver catering services across the BBC and this could be the first of many cuts.’
Mark Workman of the National Union of Journalists, said: ‘You have full support from the journalists in Bush House. Aramark may have pulled the trigger, but Mark Thompson (BBC Chief Executive), on £800,000 a year, gave the orders.
‘This is a spiteful, ill-thought-out move and the NUJ at Bush House will stand alongside you until justice is done.’