The BBC is facing strike action over the sell-off of its technology arm.
Bectu, the union representing a quarter of the division's 1,400 staff, has already notified the corporation and will ballot its members this week on industrial action.
At issue are job security, pensions and pay. Staff want any job cuts to be made while they are still employees of the BBC, which offers relatively favourable terms.
IT services firms Accenture and Siemens are currently bidding for BBC Technology, which manages the corporation's broadcast engineering, satellite and desktop infrastructure. The deal will land the winner a 10-year outsourcing contract with the BBC valued at £2bn.
The decision to consider strike action follows presentations made to BBC Technology staff by the bidders and a meeting between union officials and BBC senior executives yesterday.
"We weren't able to have substantive negotiations guaranteeing protection of pensions and conditions," Bectu officials told vnunet.com.
Previous BBC budgetary forecasts reported that if BBC Technology was retained in-house it would have to cut at least 350 jobs by 2006 to break even. Bectu claims that details of where these jobs could be axed have been handed over to both bidders.
The BBC said in a statement to vnunet.com: "BBC Technology had an ongoing commitment to deliver cost reductions and, as part of its review of services, had undertaken a study to review efficiencies, including job reductions."
Despite expressing "disappointment" at the news of the union's strike ballot, the corporation said it could not comment further on negotiations with the bidders or Bectu for commercial reasons.
The ballot of Bectu's 350 BBC Technology members will close at midday on 9 July.
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