Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Don't tell anyone but we're meeting the Tories...

Had a day off on Friday to attend my sister's graduation - she's gone back to college to complete her degree and become a teacher. It was great to be there. I'm really proud of her - I just pity the kids!

Like many unions we've had a formal approach from the Conservative Party seeking to establish a dialogue. David Cameron has appointed a former Labour MEP Richard Balfe as his Envoy to the Trade Union Movement. While many unions will refuse to meet them as a non-affiliated union we will take the opportunity to set out our position on the future of public service broadcasting, on employment legislation, on copyright, on the safety of journalists, on media ownership and much more. I don't pretend there will be any agreement but it's worth us knowing their thinking on the issues affecting members and important they know ours. I wrote back on Monday saying the union would meet with them in June.

It was one of a number of letters I fired off Monday morning before a meeting with Geoff Martin and a cup of builders tea in Tooting Market. We were discussing ways we could work together at festivals like Glastonbury and others to attract more young people to trade unions and to recruit amongst the hundreds of media personnel working at each of the festivals.

On to a meeting with Sue Harris our National Organiser in magazines, books and pr and Fiona Swarbrick the assistant organiser in the department to discuss the latest recognition issues at Pearson in Oxford and our other work in the sector.

Then it was off to Parliament for a meeting with John McDonnell and other unions to discuss how we can better co-ordinate our work on issues which affect several unions - in particular employment rights.

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