NUJ members striking over pensions last year
NUJ members at the Birmingham Post & Mail have called on managing director Alistair Nee to pay profit-related bonus payments withheld from union members to charity.
- October 2, 2020
- September 21, 2020
- September 15, 2020
They want the money, amounting to £14,283, paid either to the NUJ hardship fund or to the Post & Mail Christmas Tree Fund, which helps city charities.
The call came after it was revealed that journalists made redundant in the autumn who had been on strike had received pro rata payments in their final settlement cheques.
NUJ members at Trinity Mirror’s Midlands titles held a one-day strike in March last year in protest at the company’s decision to exclude new recruits from the firm’s pension scheme.
At the time, journalists were told that taking part in the strike would mean that they would not receive a new profit-related bonus, which has been announced for this year at £207.
The news comes after staff presentations by management revealed that the Post & Mail made £18.6m in 2003, against £18.7m the year before. At Coventry Newspapers, profits were down from £10.6m in 2002 to £9.6m in 2003. Staff at Coventry did not receive any profit-related bonus as profit targets were not achieved. Midlands Weekly Media increased profits by £300,000 to £3.3m.
The Birmingham 69, as they have become known, are incensed that they have been victimised for what was a lawfully and democratically enacted strike.
NUJ members who were on holiday at the time, or off sick, have received the payment, and members made redundant in October who went on strike received pro rata payments in final salaries.
Birmingham FoC Chris Morley said: “Chapel members feel the company has set out to be vindictive against union members who took a stand to try to defend their pension scheme being undermined by the company.
“They are concerned that the company should not profit from this punitive action and demand that what they have had withheld by the company is surrendered to a charity agreed by the chapel.”
A spokesman for Post & Mail publisher Trinity Mirror told Press Gazette: “The company has not changed its position on this issue. The NUJ decided to take strike action using a mandate where less than 28 per cent of the chapel, and less than 17 per cent of editorial staff, voted in favour.
“The action was a breach of the bonus scheme rules, and the company advised all editorial staff in advance of the proposed strike that it would result in people forfeiting their right to any profit-related bonus paid for 2003.
“The NUJ has no right to dictate how the company manages its finances.”