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Solidarity motions passed at London Central Branch tonight 8 November 2011

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in disputes, solidarity.
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Tonight, the London Central Branch of  the NUJ held a special solidarity meeting with speakers from Occupy the London Stock Exchange, in advance of tomorrow’s student demonstrations, and the NUT, UCU and PCS ahead of them and other unions taking strike action on 30 November. Two solidarity motions were passed, full text below.

Motion 1:

London Central Branch expresses its solidarity with the Occupy movement, with those demonstrating tomorrow (9 November), all those taking strike action on 30 November and with those balloting for action at the BBC. This branch notes the motion passed at the NEC last month that sought to remind “newspaper, radio and TV editors of their responsibility to report the November 30th day of strike action fairly.”  This branch agrees that Fox News-style coverage is not acceptable in Britain.

This branch calls on all of its members to ensure that their own work covers the strike and any associated demonstrations fairly and accurately.

Motion 2:

London Central Branch congratulates Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) on the success of their first national conference on Saturday, 29 October. This Branch supports DPAC’s campaign for rights, not charity, for people with disabilities.

This Branch condemns attacks on disabled people in some parts of the UK media and calls for fair and accurate coverage of the issues faced by disabled people as the government cuts services and benefits.


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