The unions at odds with the BBC over plans to make 4,000 staff redundant yesterday rejected a compromise and threatened to strike again if the director general, Mark Thompson, did not agree to further talks.

After a five-hour meeting, officials from the three unions involved said the job cuts would have an adverse impact on quality.

Following a one-day strike last Monday, industrial action scheduled for yesterday and today was cancelled as a "goodwill gesture" after a marathon 20-hour meeting at the conciliation service Acas.

But the deal offered to union officials by Mr Thompson, in which he promised a year-long moratorium on compulsory redundancies and pledged not to sell BBC Resources, still left too many questions unanswered, said union officials.

"There is too much at stake for us to compromise the future of the BBC,"said the National Union of Journalists general secretary, Jeremy Dear.

The broadcasting union Bectu, the NUJ and Amicus said that while "significant progress" had been made on privatisation, they were "a long way apart" on the job losses.

"We are determined to ensure that the BBC is not dismantled in this reckless fashion," Mr Dear said.

After the BBC pledged to retain BBC Resources and ensure that staff at BBC Broadcast, another division close to being sold off, would receive the pension and benefits they currently enjoyed, both sides are thought to be in virtual agreement on privatisation.

But unions and staff are still angry that the BBC's offer, which the BBC people director, Stephen Dando, said could be withdrawn if it was not accepted, did not address the issue of job losses.

Union officials said yesterday that they were not satisfied that 4,000 job cuts were needed.

Mr Thompson said in an email to staff after last week's Acas talks that there was no room for further negotiation.



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