Thursday 16 February 2012

For Neville - NUJ general secretary posts on Thurlbeck blog asking NI journalists to join union

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet has used ex-News of the World journalist Neville Thurlbeck's blog to make a direct appeal for News International journalists to ditch the NISA staff association and come over to the union.

Stanistreets writes: "The NUJ has been defending many journalists at News International – reporters, subs, photographers and others – who have given decades of their life to Murdoch’s newspapers yet who have been cynically and brutally dispensed with in a consistent corporate policy of damage limitation and obfuscation.

"The corporate strategy has been nothing if not consistent – blame those lower down the rung and ringfence those truly responsible at the top. The actions of the Management and Standards Committee show there is now no way back.

She adds: "If ten per cent of journalists at News International say they want NISA to be derecognised, the case can be made and won. With derecognition comes the opportunity for recognition of the NUJ.

"I need journalists on the titles to get in touch, to join the NUJ and to come together to form an organising NUJ chapel.

"Two eminent QCs – Geoffrey Robertson and John Hendy – are working with me on a range of legal measures to challenge the actions of the MSC and to provide help and support to members at News International before more members are thrown to the wolves.

"I will need journalists willing to be part of this legal challenge. There’s no time to wait. The company has shown where loyalty and committed service leads to. Journalists need an independent voice like never before. It’s time to join the NUJ and work together to stand up for journalists and journalism across News International."

  • The NUJ was derecognised by NI in 1986 when it left Fleet Street for Wapping.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. When I asked the NUJ for help with a legal dispute I was told I was not entitled to legal advice as I had not been a member for three months. Good to see they can mamage it for the newsworthy cases though...

Donnacha DeLong said...

You have to be a member for at least 3 months to get individual legal support from the union. Legal support is expensive and we have to avoid people simply joining so that we pay their legal bills and then leaving again. This situation is very different. Firstly, we have longterm members who work for News International. We've always had members there, even if we're not recognised by the employer. Secondly, this is one case covering everyone. It's not individual representation. Finally, this is also an important legal issue for all of our members, if News International gets away with doing this without challenge (and hopefully defeat), then what will stop other employers where we have more members doing the same?