Telegraph father of chapel launches redundancy appeal

Telegraph Group NUJ father of chapel Jon Carey is expected to take his appeal against redundancy to Telegraph management this week represented by the general secretary of the union Jeremy Dear.

Carey was removed from editorial duties several weeks ago but given a further month’s grace, and an office, to enable him to hand over his union work.

The NUJ chapel believes Carey was targeted for redundancy because of his union work but management says that as deputy editor of the property section, Carey was a victim of the economic downturn.

Carey has the right to have an appeal over redundancy heard internally by a senior Telegraph executive and the head of human resources. If that fails he could take his case to an employment tribunal.

Carey took over as father of the chapel from Charlie Methven who left in the first round of 90 voluntary editorial redundancies in November 2004 after the Barclay brothers bought Telegraph Group from Conrad Black.

There were another 54 compulsory editorial job cuts in 2006 and have been numerous other rounds of editorial exits since then.

During Carey’s time in charge of the Telegraph’s NUJ chapel, whose members make up around half the editorial staff, there have been three strike ballots and in 2006 journalists were within days of walking out.

Carey declined to talk about his case, but speaking in general he said: ‘It has been a period of constant upheaval, or permanent revolution. It’s been a torrid time.

‘Our major concerns have been not only to protect the pay and conditions of staff – but also to defend the quality of Telegraph journalism and that remains our aim.”

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said that the sacking of an NUJ father of chapel was ‘extremely rare’and this was the first time he had know it in his time at the union.

He said: ‘It’s usually the last resort of a company that’s lost the moral argument to victimise individuals who have effectively represented journalists.”

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