updated 5/27/2005 5:31:06 PM ET 2005-05-27T21:31:06

A 48-hour strike planned by unions representing BBC journalists and technicians was called off after all-night talks between management and mediators.

BBC staff had been due to start the walkout on Tuesday over a disagreement over the broadcaster's plans to cut about 4,000 jobs. A 24-hour strike last week caused severe disruption to BBC programming.

Three unions representing BBC staff said 20 hours of talks at the government-backed Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service had made progress on the issues of compulsory layoffs and the outsourcing of jobs. Workers will vote on the deal on Tuesday, but without any recommendation from the unions to accept or reject.

"Management has made significant concessions regarding privatization but has failed adequately to address concerns over job losses," the unions said Friday in a statement.

In the statement, the unions said they could strike again if the proposal is rejected.

The corporation, which has a work force of around 28,000, is hoping the cuts will help it save some $640 million. Unions claim the cuts will hurt the quality of the BBC's widely respected programs.

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