Crew members on BBC One’s popular soap EastEnders have gone on strike today over a dispute over travel expenses.
The Sun claims that the strike, by members of the BECTU union, is because bosses have cut the travel expenses paid to the crew which the Union claims could cost its members between £5,000 and £10,000 a year.
Among those taking part in the strike will be Camera Operators and Sound Technicians. However, a spokesperson for EastEnders has assured ATV Today that production on the soap will not be affected by the strike.
“Contingency plans have been put in place to ensure that despite the action, recording will continue and EastEnders production will not be affected” – EastEnders spokesperson talking to ATV Today
In the UK the most memorable strike to affect production on soaps was in 1979 when ITV went off air for several months – interrupting transmission of Coronation Street, Crossroads and Emmerdale. The strike benefitted BBC shows with Doctor Who recording some of its highest ratings ever – 16 million viewers for the Tom Baker story City of Death.
The writers strike in America several years ago closed down production on a wide range of programmes from dramas such as Desperate Housewives and Bionic Woman down to the daytime soaps.