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FT shows solidarity with 30 June strikes 30 June 2011

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in disputes, events, NUJ.
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Our day of action began with messages of solidarity sent to the picket line outside the HSE headquarters in Southwark, where about 20 PCS pickets were distributing leaflets and stickers to passers-by. We took stickers to hand out in the newsroom.

At lunchtime, committee members set up a stall in the canteen and gave out leaflets highlighting the NUJ’s support for the national day of action, with one person taking away a membership form to fill out. At a lively and well attended chapel meeting in the afternoon, the FT chapel addressed issues of “crisis management” in the newspaper industry and in the country as a whole.

Steve Bird, FT Group chapel FoC, said: “The government is stumbling from one policy fiasco to the next. As soon as the reality of the cuts becomes apparent, it provokes anger and opposition. Unions need to be part of every fight against these unjust cutbacks, just as we oppose bad management in our workplaces.”

Barry Fitzpatrick, head of the NUJ Publishing Department, praised NUJ members for standing up to redundancies and forcing concessions at Newsquest and elsewhere. “Even in the Thatcher years, trade unionists fought back. We need to follow the example of workers in Greece. When the stakes are high, mass union action is vital if we want to win,” he said.

The meeting went on to debate the dangers of performance-related pay – eroding collective bargaining, removing transparency over settlements and raising the possibility of discrimination in pay awards.

The meeting unanimously passed a motion calling to put a threatened redundancy into dispute if no compromise was reached before the end of the consultation period.

Barry praised the FT chapel as a great example of building strength and confidence in the union even when managers could sometimes be hard-nosed.

Steve Bird
FoC, FT Group Chapel

Stand up for local journalism 21 June 2011

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in events, NUJ.
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Invite to national campaign to save local newspapersLocal newspapers across the UK and Ireland are being destroyed by owners who put profit before everything else – quality, staffing and sales. Three of the major newspaper groups publish local titles in North London – North London & Herts Newspapers, owned by Sir Ray Tindle; Newsquest and Archant.

Journalists at North London & Herts Newspapers are currently in dispute with their owner over the continuing refusal to replace staff who leave. They took strike action last month and have balloted to take more action.

Journalists working for Newsquest South London took two days strike action last week against a further round of redundancies that’s leaving them incapable of doing their job properly and are planning more strike action next week. Newsquest have been cutting staffing to the bone in all of their papers and those in the North London group are no different.

The same goes for Archant, where a dispute with the NUJ in Norfolk was only recently resolved as the company continues to make cuts elsewhere.

With all the focus on public services provided by the government and councils, it’s easy to forget that some services have always been provided largely by the private sector. Local newspapers are one such and, at their best, they help to keep the community informed about what’s going on their local area – performing an essential role in overseeing local democracy. Wave after wave of cuts has seriously impacted on the ability of journalists working for local titles to do their jobs and has left many in the situation where they can do little more than sit at their desk churning press releases and searching google for stories.

Join the NUJ in standing up for real local journalism – journalism that’s connected to the community, that plays a critical role in local politics holding those involved to account and journalism that helps to highlight the problems in the community to the broader public to help change the local society.

Join us from 6.30pm on Monday, July 4 at The Dugdale Centre, Thomas Hardy House, London Road, Enfield Town, EN2 6DS for the launch of a national campaign to save local newspapers.

Branch Christmas Party 2009 2 December 2009

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in events, NUJ.
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Christmas is getting closer so why not kick off the festive party season by joining us for our annual branch Christmas bash next Tuesday, 8 December at 7pm at the Punch & Judy Tavern in Fleet Street, just off the junction with Farringdon Road and Ludgate Circus.

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Stand Up For (Striking) Journalism 26 March 2009

Posted by steve1917 in events, NUJ.
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To show solidarity with all NUJ members in dispute and to raise cash for fighting funds, NUJ Left is hosting ‘Stand up for journalism’ – a comedy benefit gig for striking journalists.

It will be at Bar B Lo, 76 Marchmont Street, London, on Wednesday 15 April. Doors open 7.30pm. Nearest tube Russell Square.

Tickets will be available soon at £5 waged/£3 unwaged, or pay on the door. Collections on the night.

The full line-up will be announced shortly, but Attila the Stockbroker will present his line in anti-capitalist rants.

There will also be NUJ speakers and DJ Barter playing ska, new wave and punk beats.

If you want tickets to sell at work or flyers to help raise the issue of the cuts, email the organisers at richsimcox@mac.com

Jan 24th Update 18 December 2008

Posted by steve1917 in events, NUJ.
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Top investigative journalist signs up for the summit
Nick Davies – author of Flat Earth News – is to be the opening speaker at the NUJ Jobs Summit in London on 24 January. Nick’s book chronicles how staff cuts and increased workloads in newsrooms have lead to independent journalism being replaced by public relations handouts.

The day will also include sessions on challenging redundancies and budget cuts, as well as looking at why there’s still a future for quality journalism. To register, email campaigns@nuj.org.uk