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London Freelance Branch motions to Annual Delegate Meeting 2003

These are the motions put forward from the October Branch meeting. The meeting agreed in each case to pass them formally, enabling further debate and amendment at the January meeting.

Motions for Annual Delegate Meeting

Racist material (to ADM; revised)

This Branch resolves to submit the following motion to the NUJ Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM):

This ADM strongly urges the NEC to provide full legal support and instructs the General Secretary and NEC to offer the fullest practical and political support to any member whose client or employer exposes them in the course of work to words or pictures that are racist or promote racism.

This ADM believes that since being exposed to racist material in the workplace in general may constitute constructive dismissal and occasion substantial compensation, the same could, should and shall apply to journalists.

Gyorgy Gongadze (to ADM)

This ADM instructs the NEC to organise a major event in support of an international independent inquiry into the death of Gyorgy Gongadze, and in defence of press freedom throughout Europe, on 16 September 2003 or a suitable nearby date that coincides with events supported by our colleagues in the Ukraine.

Collective agreements (to ADM)

This Branch resolves to put the following motion to ADM:

The NUJ has achieved union recognition for staff at a number of workplaces under Fairness At Work legislation. However, it is proving extremely difficult to secure follow-up collective agreements for freelances.

In the light of this experience, ADM instructs the NEC to explore the possibility of campaigning and lobbying for legislation similar in intent to the American "Conyers Bill" (now being considered by Congress) which, sponsored by our colleagues in the National Writers Union and Graphic Artists Guild affiliates of the United Autoworkers Union, seeks to establish the right of freelance journalists and other self-employed workers to bargain collectively.

Cuba (to ADM)

This Branch resolves to put the following motion to ADM:

This ADM:

Noting that in Cuba there is neither freedom of expression nor a free press, moreover that journalists and individuals seeking to put across political views differing from thsoe of the regime are systematically harassed and may be prosecuted for "disrespect" or for "spreading false news against international peace";

Noting that the NUJ is affiliated at national level to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, which is a mouthpiece of the regime;

RESOLVES to make use of its affiliation to help bring about press freedom and freedom of expression in Cuba, in particular by working with Journalists Without Borders to assist in cases where journalists are persecuted and to build links with those working inside Cuba for press freedom and freedom of expression.

Fringe meeting (at ADM)

LFB agrees to try to organise a fringe meeting on press freedom in online media at ADM 2003, the speakers to include LFB member Paul Trummel who earlier this year served more than 70 days in jail, partly in solitary confinement, on a contempt of court charge for refusing to remove part of the content of his website.