Associated cancels Xmas

THE NUJ is engaged in a recognition battle at Ireland on Sunday, which is owned by the Associated Newspapers, the Mail group. So far the company has refused to recognise the NUJ and Irish Secretary Séamus Dooley has lodged complaints of bullying by senior editorial managers of staff and freelances.

IoS responded by cancelling Christmas, issuing a memo stating that all journalists would have to work on the Monday before Christmas Day (Monday is normally a non-working day and - the Freelance had to look this up - Xmas is a Wednesday). All holiday leave was suspended, public holidays would be treated as "normal working days" and journalists would be required to work on Christmas Day.

The lack of consultation and the attempt to set aside legal rights in relation to public holidays are breaches of Irish legislation and the matter has been referred for an urgent hearing of the Labour Court.

Séamus Dooley said Irish members were horrified by the naked hostility to union members by IOS management. "We heard about the Mail in the past but now we have seen their style for ourselves and realise just how bad this crowd really are. Freelances, in particular, are terrified."

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