NUJ chapel shames Reach over hypocrisy

  • 24 Jun 2022

A motion from the NUJ Reach group chapel urges bosses to deliver a fair pay package that values staff and begins to address pay inequalities.

The NUJ Reach group chapel has passed a motion following publication of the Daily Mirror's front page on 23 June, highlighting salaries of fat cat bosses, earning up to 86 times the average worker's pay.

The motion reads:

“This group chapel applauds the journalism behind today’s Daily Mirror front page splash ‘Got to keep the pay down, PM? Try telling this lot!'.

However, the hypocrisy between the Mirror’s editorial line and Reach plc’s corporate policy is breath-taking and serves to badly erode the brand’s credibility in the eyes of the public and those of its staff.

While the head of BT is held up as a “fat cat” boss raking in 86 times the average wages of his workers, our own chief executive Jim Mullen received a £4m+ pay package worth 107 times that of the average Reach worker (according to the latest Reach annual report).

Offering Reach workers 3% or £750 minimum final offer is an insult to our members who produce such fine journalism highlighting the cost of living crisis that they are being made victim of by their own company.

Reach must practice what it preaches and get round the table to negotiate a better pay package that will start to level up the obscene pay inequalities within the company to decent and respectful levels.”

Chris Morley, NUJ national coordinator for Reach, said:

“Our members think it’s a bit rich that one of Reach’s flagship publications should denounce ‘fat cat’ bosses for their greed while their workforces struggle with the cost-of-living crisis on below inflation pay rises. That’s because the very journalists writing these and other excellent stories throughout the group are being told to swallow a massive pay cut by their boss getting by on a pay package worth £4m-plus last year.

“The latest Reach annual report showed the chief executive had total remuneration worth that of 104 of his median paid staff on £39,376 – a salary figure many of our members simply would not recognise.

“Of course, the Daily Mirror is right to highlight the huge disparities in pay between the boardroom and workforce, but if it is to remain as the voice of working people, the values behind its editorial content should at least be matched by the practice of the company that is behind the headlines.

“The bare 3% or £750 guaranteed minimum offered to our members in the face of double digit rises in the Retail Price Index has been rejected by members as an insult which leaves many of them not knowing how they and their families will get by this year. Reach can and must do better on pay.”

Jason Beattie, Daily Mirror assistant editor, said: “workers are rightly asking why they are being told to accept a below-inflation pay increase when top managers are so lavishly rewarded.” The NUJ is asking Reach to consider its own staff and take urgent action on pay. 

Read the Daily Mirror article.

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