Pay dispute at Al Jazeera English goes into arbitration
3 May 2018
Management at Al Jazeera English has agreed to meet at ACAS, the arbitration service, following a vote for strike action next week by the broadcaster's staff.
Members of the NUJ and Bectu at Al Jazeera are to hold a day's strike on Wednesday 9 May, followed by an indefinite withdrawal of goodwill over pay. They have not had a pay rise for four years – a 9 per cent pay cut after inflation is taken into account.
Al Jazeera Media Network is expected to be quizzed about the failure to reach a pay deal at a UNESCO event for World Press Freedom Day (May 4) in Accra.
Messages of support for the strikers have included sister trade unions and the NUJ's BBC Radio and Future Media Chapel, which said: "Solidarity and all good wishes to colleagues at Al Jazeera English from the NUJ's BBC Radio and Future Media Chapel. You deserve a pay rise! Unless journalists are paid properly, there'll be no such thing as press freedom."
A joint union representative said:
"We are committed to making every effort to find a resolution to this dispute. We are hoping that after more than three years of negotiations Al Jazeera management will come to ACAS this time with a pay offer that adequately recognises the hard work of their staff. But members are totally united in their determination to press ahead with the planned industrial action if no such offer is forthcoming.”