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Tony Lennon

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Tony Lennon joined the entertainment industry, and his first industry union the Association of Broadcasting Staff (ABS), in 1975.

After starting as a technical assistant working for the BBC, he went on to become a broadcast engineer specialising in Television Outside Broadcasts.

Although he claims not to be the world’s greatest sports fan, he has managed to work at almost every significant sporting venue in the UK, and also has long experience of the punishing and anti-social hours that are endemic in the broadcasting and entertainment industry.

While he was still a BBC trainee, Tony Lennon was elected to the committee of his local BBC Acton TV Outside Broadcast union branch.

In 1983 he was involved in a major dispute over expenses payments, in which hundreds of BBC union members were locked out for six weeks, and was elected to the union’s national strike committee.

He went on to play a role in most major industrial disputes at the BBC for almost 20 years as a member of the union committee that oversees national level bargaining with the employer.

Throughout his time as a senior union representative at work, Tony Lennon has been part of the merger process that created BECTU.

He was a member of the committee that drafted the rules for the ABS and NATTKE to merge in 1986, and as president of the new union BETA, played a significant role in the creation of BECTU when the eventual merger with ACTT happened in 1991.

Since then he has been the elected president of BECTU, and has argued and lobbied on behalf of union members from every industrial section.

He has also campaigned vigorously on public ownership and funding of the media and entertainment industries.

For more than 10 years he was National Chair of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF), and continues to lobby for editorial freedom and public funding for the UK’s media and arts industry.

Picture of Tony Lennon