Monday, 7 May 2007


Just a reminder:

BBC London NUJ Branch meeting:
Tuesday 8th May. 1:30 pm,
in room B551 in the basement of the main TVC donut

What kind of motion should we try to pass at the branch meeting on Tuesday if we want our union to act quickly to reverse the boycott policy? I still favour the original call for a ballot as outlined in our petition:

“As BBC journalists and NUJ members we are dismayed at the passing of a motion at ADM calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. As members of a corporation which prides itself on providing impartial news coverage, we cannot associate ourselves with a move which involves taking sides in any conflict. This branch calls on the Executive to hold a ballot of all members to see whether they support the view taken at ADM on an issue which could have a profound effect on the way all British journalists are viewed at home and abroad.”

Some are suggesting there is no mechanism for a ballot – but I have been told by one official that there could be. He points to provision for a ballot if the union is seen to be signing up to a political campaign.

“The union shall not affiliate to any body, other than those promoting the principles of press freedom and/or workers rights until the proposal to do so has been submitted to a ballot of the members in which a simple majority of those voting shall decide the issue.” (Rule 9c)

It could be argued that an ADM motion which, amongst other things, “instructs the NEC to support organisations including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign” should trigger a ballot. But some are convinced that this won’t work – and that we should instead have a broader motion…:

“to instruct delegates to oppose (or abstain from) any resolutions at the next ADM which seek to link the NUJ to, or which support, any political issues or campaigns which do not directly relate to journalism, press freedom/safety or industrial relations within the British/Irish media….”

This would, in effect, kick the issue into the long grass until next April’s ADM, but I suppose it would put down a marker that we did not want our delegates to assume that we wanted to sign up to any kind of political campaign. Perhaps we should pass both motions?

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