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Union calls off BBC strike after fresh talks offer

A planned strike by BBC journalists which would have disrupted TV and radio programmes next week was called off last night to allow fresh talks to be held in a row over pensions.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) staged a 48-hour walkout last Friday and Saturday and were due to strike again next Monday and Tuesday.

But the union said last night the corporation had agreed to hold fresh talks about planned changes to the pension scheme and had also dropped disciplinary action taken against a handful of employees who took part in last week's strike. The NUJ said the BBC had changed its position on holding more talks and said it would now endeavour to reach a negotiated settlement.

BBC director general Mark Thompson sent an email to staff last night saying calling off the strike was “very welcome news”.

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