Journalists at the Independent held a mandatory
meeting of the Chapel - the NUJ's organisation within the office - from 10am
on 20 June 2002. Mother of Chapel Kate Simon writes:
The chapel feels the latest offer from management is inadequate, but that
it could be the basis of negotiation. We have retained the right to take
industrial action following our ballot, but as a gesture of goodwill we
will refrain from naming strike days.
The chapel will discuss any further progress in 12 days' time, on
Tuesday 2 July.
The chapel thanks everyone for their support. Keep the messages coming
and watch this space.
At a packed meeting on Wednesday 12 June, editorial staff on The
Independent and Independent on Sunday voted by 109 to 40 to
throw out a pay offer and take industrial action. We decided to start our strike
campaign with a disruptive mandatory meeting of the chapel from 10am on Thursday
(20 June), unless management meet our demands.
The NUJ held a postal ballot in which 60 per cent of members voted for a
strike in opposition to a pay freeze. At the meeting, the chapel opted for
action by an increased majority.
Our claim hopes to secure a pay rise substantially above inflation for all
staff, casuals and freelances. We have also offered an alternative proposal
which demands improved rates on shifts and lineage. Under our recognition
deal, we have negotiating rights for staff and casuals only. But we feel it
is vital that we represent all staff and so continue to insist on the right
to represent all freelances. Meanwhile, we have shown our commitment to
freelances by appointing a freelance rep on the chapel committee. We also
held a special chapel meeting for freelances on the issue of copyright
earlier last year, which was well attended.