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The future looks Brighton

BRIGHTON Branch was enthusiastically re-launched on 29 January, with 36 members in attendance. General Secretary John Foster spoke of the hard times that trade unionism has faced over the past two decades of Thatcherism and urged support for the push to restore union recognition in the next one.

Freelance editor Mike Holderness established that there were three-and-a-half people in the room with full-time jobs in journalism - and they were on two-year contracts. "So the General Secretary is the only person here with a 'proper job'!"

Passive union membership, he said, provided a kind of legal insurance in return for subscriptions. But under the present dispensation most of the benefits of membership came from mutual aid, with working journalists giving advice and support to colleagues on the basis of practical experience. "We practice Do-It-Yourself trade unionism - a return to the movement's roots."

Union membership also provides a platform for campaigning. Several members, and the General Secretary, signed up as potential witnesses on the freedom-to-report aspects of the "Green Anarchist" case (see the January Journalist).

If you live or work in the Brighton or Hove areas and did not receive notice of the meeting, contact Branch Secretary Gibby Zobel on 01273 233444 or send electronic mail care of bothered@pavilion.co.uk.


Mar/Apr 1998

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