Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tesco - every little helps

Tesco are busy trying to silence two Thai journalists who've been investigating their business practices by suing them for defamation for a combined total of around $33m. It's a blatant attempt to create a chilling effect throughout journalism and stop people lifting the cloak on the activities of major corporations like Tesco's. The story is covered in today's Guardian (who are also being sued) and alongside other press campaigners we're fighting to defend freedom of expression. You can too. Click here for our latest action letter.

From one aggressive corporation to another. I was at the Express Chapel meeting yesterday which decided to pocket the basic pay award for staff and casuals and start new talks on productivity issues which we hope will lead to further reward and better job security. We're unsure what might come out of such talks but we're aiming to try to get more work back-in-house giving regular freelances and casuals more opportunities and staff more money and security.

I've also written articles for Tribune and the New Statesman - about the clampdown on covering dissent and strikes respectively. People who say unions taking action is an unpopular thing to do should look at the three biggest growth areas in union membership this year - The Guardian, BBC and Express Newspapers - all involved in major disputes, followed by our chapel in Swansea, involved in a major recognition campaign.

I've also met with the union's lawyers to put the final signature to the new five-year legal agreement and met with researchers from Oxford and Westminster University both of whom are looking in to issues surrounding the funding of news and the implications of new media on journalism which we hope will back up issues raised by our Stand Up for Journalism campaign.

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