A motion urging the National Union of Journalists to recruit non-journalists to counter the impact of mass redundancies on editorial posts and a resulting fall in the union's membership is on the agenda for the NUJ's Delegate Meeting in April.
Significantly, the motion is being put forward by the union's National Executive Council and says the NUJ should be open to everyone working in the media.
Motion 127 on the preliminary agenda says "This Delegate Meeting believes that, in the context of the mass redundancies in the industry and the consequent decline in membership, that the union’s membership restrictions limit potential recruitment and our industrial strength.
"DM notes that the rules can create unnecessary divisions in the workplace whereby, for example, support or technical staff must join another union or remain unrepresented. This DM believes that the NUJ should become the union for mediaworkers and open membership up to all working in the media who wish to join.
"DM therefore instructs the NEC to amend the rules to give effect to the principle that anyone working for a media company or in the media departments of other companies should qualify for membership, regardless of their role.
"DM instructs the NEC to seek meetings with relevant other unions in the media sector to seek to ensure that this does not bring us into dispute with them."
The motion is bound to prove controversial and goes back to the days when it was proposed that the NUJ merged with the print unions to form one powerful media union that could stand up to publishers like Rupert Murdoch.
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