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FT journalists ballot for industrial action

28 November 2011

The NUJ chapel at the Financial Times (FT) has voted decisively to ballot for industrial action. They rejected a pay offer of 2 per cent and opposed a threat to collective pay negotiation.

The mood among the 150 journalists who met last week was determined. They believe that the management is out of touch with the workforce and that the below-inflation pay deal is unacceptable – especially as FT publisher, Pearson, remains well in profit.

The management's proposal to keep back nearly half of a potential award of 3.5 per cent to hand out to select individuals has been seen as deeply divisive and an attack on union collective bargaining, as set out in the FT House Agreement.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"Last week's meeting and vote for industrial action is an indication of the real anger among the FT's journalists about the deal the management has put on the table."

Steve Bird, father of the FT chapel, said:

"A low pay offer is bad enough, but plundering the pay fund to retain staff or reward select individuals has added insult to injury. The majority should not be forced to subsidise opaque bonus payments with yet another real terms pay cut. Industrial action is not something to be taken lightly, but the chapel is united over this."

The NUJ chapel is open to any offer of further talks with FT management.

Fiona Swarbrick, NUJ national organiser, said:

"We are keen to resolve this dispute, but management must demonstrate that they understand the financial pressures our members are under at the current time. They must channel more of the pay fund into alleviating the impact of high inflation on their staff.
"We are not at all surprised that the FT chapel has become so frustrated. Pay rises in recent years have reflected neither the cost of living nor Pearson's increasing profitability."

Tags: , newspapers, financial times, pay, industrial action, ballot, pearson