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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 November 2007

Fight low pay and long hours

"Press freedom is the freedom of 200 rich people to express their opinion" one German conservative newspaper owner commented decades ago. But trade unionists have a few words to say on the matter - one of the reasons for the European "Stand up for Journalism" day of action on 5 November.

Christian Bunke

In Britain, the issue has gained urgency due to sweeping BBC job cuts. The cuts go deep. It will not be possible to cover these through voluntary redundancies, which means there will be compulsory lay offs if the trade unions don't organise massive resistance and strike action. 2,500 job cuts have been announced so far. In Wales alone, 250 jobs will go, with at least 145 of these being redundancies.

Manchester NUJ branch agreed at a recent meeting to build links between lay members of the BBC unions to work towards forming a cross-union solidarity committee. This move should be taken up in other areas where there are BBC workplaces, especially London.

Links should also be made with other public-sector unions. The NUJ should publicly call for and support demands for a national public-sector strike.

The day of action could be a good way for the union to show it means business. In Coventry, journalists at the Coventry Telegraph will hold a disruptive workplace meeting to plan further strike action against staffing shortages.

In Manchester, a protest outside the Society of Editors conference will be held. Journalists working for the various Guardian media titles are moving towards putting a united pay claim to management. Freelances and casuals are reviving the freelance network.

The day of action can only be an opening shot for a fighting campaign to battle staff shortages, long working hours, low pay and cuts at the BBC and ITV. The NUJ leadership has to prove that it means business and plan a serious campaign of industrial action.

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In The Socialist 1 November 2007:

NHS: Kick big business out!

Targets take their toll on cleaners

Feature: NHS - Time to fight for a national strike

Editorial: NHS campaigning - national strategy needed


Environment and socialism

System change to stop climate change


Workplace news and analysis

CWU executive member calls for a 'no' vote

Unison local government ballot result ignored


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007 web pages


Socialist Party news and analysis

Countering the race to the bottom

Respect in crisis - what lessons for socialists?


Asylum

The socialist interview


International socialist news and analysis

Nigeria: Day of action protest march in Osogbo

Switzerland: Racism dominates election campaign

Poland: Right-wing populist government defeated


National Shop Stewards Network

Wales shop stewards' network conference

London and South East regional conference


Workplace news and analysis

Bolton care workers' dispute: Workers' determination yields first signs of success

Vote Martin Powell-Davies for NUT vice president

Journalists: Fight low pay and long hours


 

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