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Unions representing 120K UK creative workers oppose Channel 4 privatisation

In a letter to Nadine Dorries, the unions warn the sale of Channel 4 will have major consequences for the UK's broadcasting landscape

The Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU) has written to Nadine Dorries, the UK’s secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to urge her to reconsider the government’s plans to privatise Channel 4.

The letter is signed by Bectu, Equity, the National Union of Journalists, the Musicians’ Union and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, which together represent 120,000 people working in the UK’s creative industries.

It states that the unions are “dismayed” at the government’s plans to sell the publicly owned broadcaster to a private company and has urged Dorries to reconsider the sale.

The letter adds that the sale of Channel 4 will have major consequences for the UK broadcasting landscape, and “will deal a major blow to the UK’s creative workforce”, who are critical to the success of the broadcasting sector.

FEU president and head of Bectu, Philippa Childs, said: “Channel 4 costs the UK taxpayer precisely nothing, yet gives us a thriving independent production sector, thousands of jobs and world-renowned, innovative content.

“Selling this much-loved and entirely self-sustaining public service broadcaster will deal a major blow to the creative industries, who were among the hardest hit by the pandemic and continue to face a chronic skills shortage, and have major consequences for the UK broadcasting landscape.”