Independent freelances ballot

FREELANCES are to be balloted in support of industrial action at the Independent titles.

The move follows the NUJ Chapel's decision to ballot on action in support of its pay claim. They have rejected 2.5 per cent and asked for 5, and have also asked that this should be applied to freelance rates.

There is no legal requirement for such a ballot and the NUJ will not issue instructions to freelances on strike days (if there are any). However, the ballot will allow freelances to vent their legitimate anger at the company's low rates and its broad licence for re-use, which is non-negotiable.

Voting will be by email, to the NUJ Freelance Office.

Every NUJ freelance for whom the union has an email address - 5000 in total - has been contacted, and a list of those known to work for the Independent titles has been compiled.

The ballot will begin on March 8 and finish on March 17.

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