ITV staff to strike in row over pay
ITV production workers, journalists and other staff are to stage a 24-hour strike in a dispute over pay, threatening programmes including Good Morning Britain, presented by Susanna Reid.
Members of the technicians' union Bectu and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) voted in favour of walkouts by 67% and 77% in protest at a 2% pay award.
The NUJ said the strike, on May 14, could hit live programmes including news bulletins.
Unions have been pressing for a bigger wage increase in view of the TV company's profits.
Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey told the Press Association that staff were "very unhappy" with the pay offer.
"There is a huge disparity between the pay offered to staff and the bonus package to executives as well as shareholder dividends.
"Our members are helping to make the profits but are not sharing in them."
The strike will coincide with ITV's annual meeting.
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "My members are not going to accept this cheap-as-chips pay offer when we know ITV is able to give Adam Crozier, its chief executive, a bonus of £8.4 million and it has been on a £1.4 billion spending spree on company buy-ups while its staff face hardship because of their paltry pay.
"It is, frankly, an insult to offer 2% to our members who were prepared to make sacrifices when times were tough at ITV. Now, with fortunes on the turn and an increase of 6% in advertising revenue last year, why is ITV being so mean?
"Our members have made their message clear. Unless ITV can come back with a better offer, they will be taking strike action next week."
An ITV spokesman said: "We are fully prepared to maintain an open dialogue with union representatives following the ballot result today, which has seen 232 union members voting to strike out of a UK workforce of 3,000 employees.
"We have contingency plans in place to ensure that our programmes will continue to be broadcast and are confident that viewers will be unaffected by the proposed industrial action on May 14.
"We have made an above-inflation one-year pay increase of 2%, effective from January 1, which is on top of the 11.5% of pay rises over the last four years, some way ahead of other media sector pay awards.
"We are also the only UK broadcaster to pay the living wage.
"Eligible colleagues also received the maximum £1,200 bonus in their pay packets in March and we have increased the 2015 bonus opportunity to its maximum £1,500 which would be paid next year.
"ITV continues to make good progress but our focus on costs remains incredibly important across the business as we balance the need to continue to invest in growing the business, our people and the programmes that we create and broadcast."