Attacks on the BBC and the union’s low pay campaign were two of the issues discussed at an NUJ Left conference held in Manchester. Union general secretary Jeremy Dear said he thought this was the best chance in a decade for the NUJ to win a ballot over strike action to fight a feared 9,000 job cuts at the BBC.
Privatisation is also a big issue, with moves for even more programmes to be made by the private sector and signs from the European Union that it views the licence fee as a bar to free competition.
The three main unions at the BBC—the NUJ, Bectu and Amicus—are holding a day of action on Wednesday 2 March aimed at recruitment as part of a joint campaign to resist job losses. Activists talked about the need for the union’s workplace chapels and geographic branches to “adopt” a local BBC workplace.
This would help them find out how they could best support the campaign and explore possibilities for linking up with other public sector action on jobs and pensions.
The meeting also heard about the ballot for industrial action that starts this week to fight 90 redundancies at the Telegraph Group of national newspapers in London.
Management refused to talk to the NUJ about the job losses, which are part of a move to save £150 million to invest in new printing presses. Other discussions focused on how to continue the success of the NUJ campaign to tackle widespread low pay in the industry.
We also discussed mobilising for the Stop the War demonstrations in London and Edinburgh on 19 March and proposals for the structure of the NUJ Left.
Another meeting will be held during the union’s annual conference from 7 to 10 April in Scarborough.
For further information on the NUJ Left contact Phil Turner on 07810 824 223.