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NUJ conference 2018
Journalists' union leaders defeat call for political fund, but potential for left grows
Socialist Party reporters
Socialist Party members in the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) made successful contributions on workplace stress and Catalan independence at the union's delegate meeting on 20-23 April.
Prior to the annual conference, Socialist Party member Anton McCabe (Derry and North West Ireland branch) was re-elected to the union's ruling national executive council (NEC).
Niall Mulholland (London Magazines branch) moved a motion on the housing crisis. This was remitted on the basis of a commitment that the union will survey members about housing for use in campaign work.
Niall also successfully moved a motion on workplace stress. This committed the NUJ to act on this burning issue.
Roger Butler (Swansea branch) seconded a motion calling for the union to set up a political fund. Against strong opposition from the NEC, and misinformation, the motion fell. But with a significant minority in favour, the issue will not go away.
Seconding a successful motion on Catalonia, Anton McCabe condemned the state violence unleashed by the right-wing Madrid government against the self-determination movement.
Avoiding full debate and voting, the NEC managed, partly through procedural manoeuvres, to see off several motions. This included on Israel/Palestine, and the 'antisemitism' smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn.
The leadership also faced setbacks. A motion to raise members' subs, already amongst the highest in the union movement, did not get the majority required. To build the union and its finances, recruitment must be energetically prioritised - on affordable subscription rates.
The strong second-place vote for vice-president achieved by Steve Bird, regarded as the opposition candidate, indicates the potential for the left in the NUJ.
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