June Branch Meeting 8 June 2009Posted by steve1917 in General.
Tags: London Central NUJ, NUJ
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At the next monthly meeting of the London Central branch, this Tuesday June 9 at 7pm at Headland House, we will be starting the build-up to this year’s NUJ Annual Delegate Meeting, which takes place in the north west seaside resort of Southport from November 19-22 and is the forum in which the union determines its policies for the coming year.
It’s extremely important that as many branch members as possible try to attend Tuesday’s meeting because we will be proposing draft motions for the ADM, which will be put out for consultation after the meeting and considered for final approval and submission at the July branch meeting.
If you feel strongly about something and want it raised, then please draw up something and bring it along on Tuesday night. The aim is to look at what we have, circulate it and then take a final vote on it in July. We will of course have an opportunity to amend our resolutions — and anyone else’s for that matter — at a later meeting. A guide to how to draw up resolutions can be found by going to the NUJ website and clicking on the ADM 2009 logo. A link will also be posted on the London Central NUJ site.
The preliminary agenda will be out in August and again will be available to view online. The branch will make any necessary amendments and elect delegates at the September branch meeting and the final agenda will be out in October.
Let’s ensure we have maximum involvement from all sectors covered by our branch. NUJ members from the national titles in particular will have much to contribute to the important discussions that will take place in Southport. Every member can play their part in making ADM 2009 a success — and that means you.
We will also be discussing other matters at the meeting, including requests for help from our members at national newspapers and other media outlets in fighting job losses and other cutbacks. So please come along on Tuesday — Headland House is just five minutes’ walk from King’s Cross and St Pancras rail stations and there will be drinks in a local pub after the meeting.
Branch Secretary’s Report 25 March 2009Posted by steve1917 in NUJ.
Tags: London Central NUJ
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The past 12 months have continued a process of change in our industry that has impinged, particularly, on members of this branch. Further redundancies and financial cutbacks across the entire newspaper and agencies sector have thrown up ongoing challenges that your union and this branch have had to address. The branch, its constituent chapels and the NUJ overall, has risen to these challenges, successfully fighting against compulsory redundancies and campaigning for quality journalism. The union’s revitalised strategy, formulated at the recent Jobs Summit, will help to protect jobs, seize new opportunities and add impetus to our struggle. However, in order to ensure that we maintain a strong voice within the media industry, it is more imperative than ever that we recruit from among those already working in our sectors as well as new arrivals. For those of us who have striven to bring new members into the fold, the one startling response we have had from potential members is that they had not joined before because nobody has asked them! This is staggering. So, I would urge every member to ask at least one other non-NUJ colleague to join. I would also urge the incoming branch officers to approach lapsed members and encourage them to return to full membership as well as helping those who are currently unemployed. Last year, I reported the transfer of Reuters members to Canary Wharf Branch and Daily & Sunday Telegraph members from canary Wharf to London Central. Now we are in the process of welcoming some 600 or so members from Canary wharf Branch, which has decided to merge with London Central. While it is always a sad occasion to witness the demise of a branch, in the current circumstances that face this union it may be the opportune time for such a merger. I am standing down this year as Branch Secretary after seven years. I would like to thank my current and former colleagues on the branch committee as well as chapel officers and other members for the efforts they have put in during my sojourn and for the courtesy and consideration they have shown me. I hand over the mantle at a time when this branch has never been stronger and can only gain strength from the addition of our Canary wharf colleagues. I hope that I have played my part in help to maintain our solidarity. Once again I will leave you with what I believe should be the branch maxim: Recruit! Recruit! Recruit! Jim Humphries
Support Leeds Strikers 25 March 2009Posted by steve1917 in disputes, NUJ.
Tags: Johnston Press, Leeds NUJ, London Central NUJ, NUJ, Yorkshire Post
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Journalists at the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds Weekly News are taking strike action to defend their jobs and quality journalism.
They have already lost up to thirteen days of pay and need your help.
Johnston Press management, which this week announced profits of £128 million – or a 24.1% return on investment – is responding to the news by making 18 journalists redundant on the Yorkshire titles – 10% of the editorial workforce.
Johnston Press has returned hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends and bonuses to shareholders in recent years, while racking up debts of £450 million in a reckless expansion process.
Around 30 Johnston titles in Northern Ireland are at risk, all Johnston titles in the Republic have been put up for sale and management are seeking further redundancies in Scotland.
Members in Leeds are at the frontline in this dispute, as management become entrenched in their desire to service their debt and bolster their profits by sacking journalists and streamlining operations.
Management are refusing to rule out compulsory redundancies, which the union wholeheartedly oppose. The consequences of compulsory redundancies could lead to a similar approach being rolled out not only at Johnston titles, but also across the industry.
We are calling on every member to back the action taken by the workers in Leeds as they defend both jobs and a quality product of which they were once proud.
Branches have already been generous in their support, but we are calling on chapels – many of which will already be feeling the threat of cost-cutting and profiteering by management – to make collections, on a weekly basis, to ensure victory for our colleagues in Leeds.
Don’t worry if you can’t afford much – it all adds up.
A victory in Yorkshire will send a clear message that the NUJ will not stand for compulsory redundancies – and will always fight against the propaganda and profiteering which threatens our industry.
James Doherty Jeremy Dear
President General Secretary
HOW TO HELP:
- Cheques should be made payable to: ‘EP/YP joint chapel branch’ and sent to PO Box HP346, Leeds LS6 1UL
- Donations online to: Unity Trust Bank account 35017589 sort code 08-60-01
- Messages of support to: firstname.lastname@example.org and 07549 170401
- Join the Save Leeds’ Local Newspapers facebook group
- Keep up to date with strike news on the NUJ website
NUJ Lobby 25th March 20 March 2009Posted by steve1917 in General.
Tags: Lobby Of Parliament, London Central NUJ, NUJ
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Time to put pressure on MPs over local media jobs
With a week to go until the NUJ’s parlimentary lobby over local media cutbacks, more than seventy UK MPs have signed a motion on the issue.
The parliamentary petition regrets job cuts at profitable local media and calls on the government to give state support ONLY in return for guarantees on investment in journalism.
MPs from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and seven different political parties have backed the demand.
The NUJ is calling on as many journalists as possible to attend a lobby of Westminster on 25 March and to write to their MPs before that date.
f you are coming email email@example.com for more info.
The NUJ estimates that nearly 2,000 jobs have been lost from regional newspapers, television, radio, and websites.
Early Day Motion 916 supporting local journalism has 71 MPs signed up from the Conservative, Demonractic Unionist, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Scottish Nationalist, and Social Democratic and Labour parties.
The lobby is on Wednesday 25 March. There is a briefing for MPs about regional journalism in the UK at 2pm in Committee Room 20 of the House of Commons. Individual journalists are encouraged to speak to their own MP after the briefing.
There will be an additional meeting for Welsh MPs at 3.30pm in Committee Room 21.
Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said: “It is important that as many people as possible lobby their MPs by letter and in person. We need to demonstrate to them that we are serious about Standing Up for Journalism.
“Please write to your MP even if they have signed the EDM – we need to create some momentum for the campaign.
“There is a lot of talk about state-subsidy, tax-breaks and statutory advertising. If that happened now it would not save jobs – it would just create a government-funded free cash point for profit-hungry speculators.
“Any state aid must be tied to guarantees about jobs and public service journalism – in newspapers, websites and broadcasting.
“There must also mechanisms to safeguard editorial integrity.
“The government also needs to look at backing new local media start ups as part of their agenda of supporting social cohesion.”
The lobby is part of a union-wide campaign against media cutbacks.
13 March 2009 updated 18 March 2009
NUJ ballots for industrial action at Thomson Reuters 20 March 2009Posted by steve1917 in General.
Tags: London Central NUJ, NUJ, Thomson Reuters
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The NUJ is balloting for industrial action at Thomson Reuters over its attempts to remove the contractual right of former Thomson Financial News (TFN) members to a nine-day fortnight without their agreement.
TFN staff now working for Reuters in its London newsroom have refused to sign up to the changes and continue to work their existing hours, despite management threats of disciplinary action if they fail to agree.
NUJ members view the nine-day fortnight as an indispensable benefit at a time when the company has offered a derisory 1.25 percent, below-inflation across-the-board annual pay rise, but recently announced a 19 percent rise in annual profits to $2.8 billion. The union has tried to compromise and has agreed to consider appropriate financial compensation for giving up the nine-day fortnight, but regards the company’s “final” offer of £1,000 – phased in two stages, with £500 now and £500 in October – as totally inadequate.
The NUJ believes Thomson Reuters, formed last year through Thomson Corp’s acquisition of Reuters, is trying arrogantly to ram this through despite failing miserably to prove its claim that members’ one day off each fortnight is causing operational difficulty.
Many former TFN staff are paid only marginally more than Reuters trainees, yet they have similar experience and are doing exactly the same job as Reuters colleagues sitting next to them.
TFN members are seriously angry about the pay disparity and feel that one of the few tangible benefits they have is being taken from them for nothing, while the company ignores their claim for parity.
The NUJ’s Head of Publishing, Barry Fitzpatrick, said: “The chapel representing former TFN staff feel it has been left with no option but to ballot for industrial action over this issue.
“The offer of 1,000 pounds is risible. “The company has failed to provide any hard evidence of how the nine-day fortnight is harming the news file.
“Staff feel intimidated by managers and in some cases have been denied their right to grievance hearings and representation by the union.
“Many former TFN staff are paid significantly less than Reuters’ colleagues for doing the same work, and in a lot of cases paid not much more than a Reuters trainee’s starting salary.
“If the company is serious about harmonisation, it should properly consider its journalists’ claim for compensation, which, given the company’s massive profits, is more than affordable even in these difficult times.”
13 March 2009