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Thomson Reuters 13 January 2009

Posted by steve1917 in disputes, NUJ.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at Thomson Reuters have rejected the company’s 2009/10 pay offer and are urging it to drop its attempts to impose a draconian performance pay regime on staff.
Union officials have invoked formal dispute procedures over the across-the board pay proposal of 1.25 pct, plus a further 1.25 pct based on performance.

The NUJ requested a settlement reflecting inflation and the impact on staff of an extremely difficult 2008, in which the merged Thomson Reuters sought about 70 editorial compulsory redundancies in the UK, which the NUJ prevented by forcing the company to offer voluntary severance.

The union has also made concessions in negotiations with management over this year’s pay offer, given the current economic climate.

But the union believes the company is being inflexible and unreasonable with its latest offer, which is well below RPI inflation of 3 pct and CPI inflation of 4.1 pct and even more so when the discretionary element is removed.

The union believes the 1.25 pct performance-based element breaches its house agreement, which calls for salary increases to be negotiated collectively.

The response constitutes an attempt to replace a fair and reasonable pay rise for all with a performance-related increase for a selected few, rather than a genuine effort to offset any potential impact on the company of the economic downturn.

Barry Fitzpatrick, NUJ Head of Publishing, said: “This below-inflation offer is effectively a large pay cut for people who worked tirelessly to keep the business running smoothly in 2008, despite the fear of job cuts and the disruption caused by the merger.

“The union is concerned that the company is trying to impose a draconian, ideologically-driven performance pay regime on staff, undermining our members’ collective bargaining rights and rewarding the few at the expense of the many.”

In November, the company announced an 8 pct rise in third-quarter revenues to $3.3 billion, a 17 percent rise in underlying operating profit to $676m, integration ahead of plan with $550 million of savings achieved by the end of September and expectations of continued profit growth, according to chief executive Tom Glocer.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ deputy general secretary, said: “Given these positive results and the relatively upbeat outlook, the union regrets that the company has decided against making a fair and reasonable pay award to staff following a very difficult year. We will have to consult members and consider our options if our reasonable demands are not met.”

If the formal disputes procedure does not result in an outcome satisfactory to the union, members at Thomson Reuters have instructed chapel officials to prepare for industrial action.
You can get an application form and a postage-paid envelope to join the TFN NUJ chapel at Thomson Reuters by contacting chapel reps Frank Prenesti or Philip Waller, by calling the NUJ on 0207 278 7916, by emailing join@nuj.org.uk or by visiting www.nuj.org.uk



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