The NUJ claims it has established an important foothold in the Northcliffe regional newspaper group.
It follows a ruling from the Central Arbitration Committee, the government agency responsible for union recognition cases, that journalists on the Bristol Evening Post should be represented by the NUJ as a discrete "bargaining unit" within the workforce.
The union applied for recognition on the paper last March, arguing that it represented a majority of the journalists.
Northcliffe challenged the application on the grounds that the "bargaining unit" should contain all staff in the editorial department. The difference was between 85 people, the total number of journalists claimed by the NUJ, and 123, the employer’s total for the editorial department.
The CAC conducted a hearing in December and has now ruled that the journalists-only formula was "compatible with effective management" – one of the criteria in the Employment Rights Act.
The union will now seek a CAC order that the union be formally recognised on the Post. If it succeeds, the paper will be the first NUJ chapel in Northcliffe to get recognition.
John Foster, the union’s outgoing general secretary, said: "This decision is very important for the NUJ and our chapel at the Bristol Evening Post and establishes the right of recognition for the union and the right to represent our members."
By Jean Morgan