independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Staff at BBC protest over lack of microwaves to heat up their lunches

A HEATED row has erupted among BBC staff moving to the New Broadcasting House because there are not enough microwaves to warm up their lunches.

Staff at the central London studios have complained there are only four cookers available and queues can be 15 deep at times.



The issue has become so serious that BBC management have even set up “Project Microwaves” which aims to double the number, according to internal emails.



The BBC site, some of which dates back to 1932, has undergone a £1 billion refurbishment to bring the corporation’s national and international news teams under one roof.



It has been nicknamed the News Palace but staff transferring there are annoyed they have to spend much of their lunch hour queuing.



One said: "This building holds thousands of staff, yet the canteen is the same size as a high street coffee shop.



"If I want to save a few pounds, I bring in my own food to heat up. But there are only four microwaves.



"Four microwaves for thousands of people. It just shows that staff welfare is the last thing management think about."



Staff have complained that people can start lining up at a microwave at 11am to prepare their lunch and queues can last all day.



"I know the BBC has bigger problems than a shortage of canteen microwaves, but how can an organisation spend millions of pounds on a totally-refurbished building, yet expect thousands of us to eat in a canteen the size of a high street coffee shop, and only provide four microwaves?”, the source added.



"We have brand new state-of-the-art studios, a lot of meeting rooms, and thousands of hungry staff at lunchtime.



"Management have really messed this one up."



In an email to staff, migration manager Sally Freestone told colleagues: "My in- box is full of microwave emails – what joy!"



BBC management have told staff progress has been made and Project Microwaves could doubt the number of ovens in the News Cafe soon.



There could even been additional microwaves on the 7th floor, although "That's just an aspiration at the moment."



By Tom Whitehead Telegraph.co.uk

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