Friday, November 28, 2008

Saving the industry from the owners

I was standing having a drink at a gig/film screening last night in support of an excellent project Jail Guitar Doors, when I was announced as the next speaker. It's one of the perils of being General Secretary - getting it sprung on you at a few seconds notice that you're going to speak. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to support the project and have done so in the past - but there's still a moment of panic when you hear your name mentioned.

It was great to go and be inspired by the work being done by musicians, trade unions, prisoners and prison staff which is really making a difference to people's lives. It was also good to get a lift after another days of unrelenting redundancies across the media industry. There were almost too many to keep up with but it's clear the gloom is turning increasingly to anger and Saturday's emergency local newspaper reps meeting will be the springboard for a major fight back against both the doom and the continued profiteering. As part of the build-up to Saturday, last night I took part in a telephone conference with reps from Newsquest where action against cuts is already threatened at Bradford, York and Darlington.

Before that we had the NEC Policy Committee which discussed the jobs crisis as well as our Parliamentary work, our activity at the TUC, recent meetings I've had with Gordon Brown, Vernon Coaker and Jeremy Hunt, copyright issues, the killing of Kate Peyton and impunity as well as our international solidarity campaigns with journalists in Zimbabwe.

Today it's the union's Development Committee and a chance for us to put some flesh on the bones of our campaign against the job cuts - it really is coming down to a battle to save the industry.

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