Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/508/3369
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.
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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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
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 web pages
Socialist Party news and analysis
Countering the race to the bottom
Respect in crisis - what lessons for socialists?
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
The Socialist 1 November 2007 |
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