BBC STAFF fighting for the reinstatement of journalists Adli Hawwari and Abdul Hadi Jiad have stepped up their campaign. World Service bosses sacked the journalists on 19 February in an attempt to silence two outspoken critics of BBC management. Adli and Abdul Hadi have played a leading role in campaigning against racism and bullying in the BBC.
NUJ union reps voted unanimously to call for a BBC-wide ballot for action in defence of the two activists. The NUJ has launched a national campaign for Adli and Abdul Hadi's reinstatement, with officials speaking at workplace meetings across the country. Campaigners will also be leafleting workplaces this week, including the offices of the BBC at Millbank in Westminster.
With war approaching, many NUJ activists see the battle to defend Adli and Abdul Hadi as a key test of union strength. People feel that these sackings are about creating a climate of fear that will make it even more difficult to present the anti-war arguments. However, NUJ and Bectu members inside the BBC have been key to organising Media Workers Against the War groups.
An NUJ rep told Socialist Worker, 'BBC workers are, like millions of others, furious about the war. New anti-war groups have sprung up in several BBC workplaces in the last week. We are determined not to be silenced by Bush, Blair or Greg Dyke. That's why defending Adli and Abdul Hadi is so crucial.'
Bectu activists have also been centrally involved in the campaign to defend the two sacked journalists.
JOURNALISTS AT Newsquest Bradford, a division of the giant US media firm Gannett, are taking strike action over pay. NUJ journalists' union members have voted to strike for ten days from 23 March. Solidarity needs to be stepped up across the whole of the NUJ. Strikers should be invited on speaking tours across the country. All-out strike action may now be considered.
Picket lines are outside the company's offices in Bradford, Shipley, Otley, Keighley, Skipton and Ilkley. The chapel (union branch) is asking for a pay rise of £1,500 per year each. The company has offered 2 percent - less than inflation. 'Newsquest Bradford makes £23,000 per day,' said a union representative.
NUJ MEMBERS in Birmingham and Coventry struck for 24 hours on Friday 14 March against their Trinity Mirror bosses' decision to close their final salary pension scheme.
Phil Turner, Northern Low Pay Committee