NUJ rejects Bauer claim it endorsed freelance contracts
13 November 2008
The NUJ has denounced Bauer Publishing for implying that the union has endorsed its publishing agreement for freelance contributors.
In a letter to its contributors, Bauer claims:
"We sought the advice of the NUJ…".
However, Freelance Organiser John Toner says this is a complete fabrication:
"The very suggestion that Bauer somehow sought advice from the NUJ is laughable. If only! The fact is, I contacted Bauer in July to object to the terms of the Publishing Agreement. Although they amended two of the clauses, I left them in no doubt that we still object to much of the rest of the contract."
The union still has major concerns about Bauer's position, in particular around the assignment of copyright and the waiver of moral rights.
At the time, John Toner said the contract was "one of the most outrageous" he had ever seen. He added:
"How they could interpret that as some sort of endorsement is beyond me."
John Toner has written to Bauer's MD, David Goodchild, objecting to the disingenuous reference to the NUJ in the company's letter.
"I have repeated my offer to meet the company to discuss the agreement. If Bauer really wants the NUJ's advice, I am more than happy to provide it."