Today the NUJ hosted a really important meeting to try to develop a co-ordinated unions response to tackle the denial of basic rights at work faced by millions of working people simply because of their employment status.
In our industry all too many employers force people on to casual contracts to avoid obligations under a range of employment laws which in the UK only apply to employees. The government have constantly refused to act to stop the development of this two-tier workforce. Some of the key issues are set out in this speech I gave at a conference on the issue.
The NUJ has taken this new initiative to try to force the debate back up the government's agenda - it is simply unacceptable that freelances and casuals are denied basic rights or that the rights they enjoy are so hard to enforce it costs disproportionate amounts of time and money.
Today I hosted a meeting with representatives from the TUC, 10 other unions and the National Group on Homeworking to plan out some joint campaigning to try to tackle these abuses.
This will be followed up with a meeting of union legal officers to consider any possible joint actions and a seminar later this year. It will all be backed up by drawing together evidence of the scale of the problem across different industries. Armed with that evidence we will take our case to government through the NUJ's Parliamentary Group.