THE FIGHT against low pay by journalists reached a critical stage this week. National Union of Journalists (NUJ) union members at Bradford Newsquest were due to meet on Tuesday to decide whether to reballot for more strike action. They had been on all-out strike until Wednesday of last week.
Part of their decision to return to work was because under New Labour's anti-union laws workers can be sacked after eight weeks on strike. The union's leadership wants to pull back from further action and launch a coordinated group-wide claim for its 1,000 Newsquest members starting in September backed by industrial action.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear told members in the Newsquest group that this would be the most serious campaign to end low pay for at least 15 years. The workers unanimously backed the plan.
But the proposal does not address the bosses' strategy of sitting out action until after the eight weeks have expired. NUJ members at Newsquest Bolton and Bury called off action after running out of the eight week protection.
But Bradford could still win this pay round if Newsquest knew that NUJ members across the group would be called out and the union appealed for active solidarity from other trade unions.