Monday, January 07, 2008

String 'em up..

New penalties for those breaching the National Minimum Wage legislation came in today and we put out a statement welcoming the changes - they feed in to our campaign against media employers who play on the image of a job in the so-called glamour industries to exploit young journalists and media workers. Companies who make millions exploiting the dreams of young and vulnerable workers deserve to be hit harder.

The union's campaign around work experience and vulnerable workers was just one of the issues on the agenda of Friday's Development Committee - one of the sub-committees of the National Executive which looks at the union's campaigns and recruitment activity. The Committee also heard updates on the BBC dispute the launch of the union's new website which has resulted in a significant increase in the length of time people spend using the site and had a debate about the recruitment of local press correspondents who are paid a pittance for providing copy for local newspapers.

This morning was taken up with meetings with Stephen Pearse our Campaigns and Communications Officer to consider the future direction of our Stand Up for Journalism campaign and plans for recruitment activity and material. I also met with our Finance Officer to look at a new report about the funds being held by many of the union's branches - some have almost £35,000 in their accounts and some of the money is in accounts of branches which have now been merged or disbanded and there has been no activity on the accounts for some years. Time to start thinking how that money could be put to better use!

This afternoon I chaired the TUC's Trades Councils committee and am now back catching up on emails and correspondence.

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