Friday 25 September 2009

NUJ plans 'rest day' protest against Guardian

The NUJ is planning a ‘Guardian day of rest’ when it will ask photographers to refuse to enter into contracts to work for the paper on a specific day in protest against recent changes to their terms and conditions.
The union wants the company to improve its offer to all freelance photographers, after it was able to negotiate an agreement that covers those working under retainer contracts for the paper.
The dispute relates to a decision by the Guardian to refuse to pay fees for re-using commissioned photographs.
The union says that after NUJ intervention it has been agreed that over a dozen photographers who work under contract for the Guardian will agree a licence to be paid re-use fees on a sliding scale for a five-year period after the end of the contract.
However, this only applies to contract photographers, and the union is demanding improved conditions for all photographers commissioned by the paper.
The day on which the protest will take place will be specified nearer the time, minimising the advance notice that will be given to the company.
NUJ freelance organiser, John Toner, said: “We’re pleased to have reached an acceptable deal for contractors. Now we’re looking to The Guardian to show the same willingness to review its position for all photographers. Our coordinated ‘day of rest’ will show management just how strongly our members feel about these changes.”
In July the Guardian wrote to all freelance and contract photographers stating that it would no longer pay re-use fees for photographs that they commission.

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