I’ve just heard what happened at the National Executive meeting on Friday – and I think it is cause for celebration. Unsurprisingly, the NEC said the rulebook did not allow a ballot on the boycott – but it then said that the boycott just isn’t going to happen because the TUC does not support it.
The motion passed unanimously by the NEC makes clear that the boycott call at ADM was aimed at persuading the TUC to implement the policy – and that has failed:
“Composite B calls not for an NUJ boycott but on the NUJ to support a labour movement/TUC organised boycott. In implementing Composite B the NUJ has sent the motion to the TUC. NEC notes the response from the TUC International Department setting out the TUC and the majority of affiliates' position on the boycott, in particular, that the "General Council is likely to take the position that this is not a priority for the PGFTU (in Palestine), still less the Histadrut, and would undermine our ability to act as go-betweens", and that "Congress, which has consistently supported the same approach, would also be (likely) to oppose the call".
NEC believes the latter from the TUC gives a decisive and final response to any call made by the NUJ to the labour movement as instructed by ADM.”
And here is the key phrase:
“NEC will take no further action on implementing this boycott call.”
In other words, the boycott is a dead duck.
This has only happened because more than 400 NUJ members at branches and chapels across Britain and Ireland made their voices heard – through branch and chapel meetings and petitions. I think we can be proud of what we have achieved.
I’ve also learnt that 31 people notified the union that they had resigned over the boycott policy. I know a number of us had discussed resigning if the boycott stayed in place. I have now decided that I will be staying in the union – and I would encourage others to stay and work towards making it more responsive to the views of the wider membership.