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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