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Two letters about payment for photographers, from members in the CWU and Aslef unions, which appeared in the current issue of the Journalist, were criticised at last Friday’s NEC meeting. Both letters, which appear on pages 26 and 27, suggested that photographers should accept lower payment for their work.

In response the following motion, proposed by Tim Dawson seconded by Adam Christie, was agreed:

“This NEC calls on Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the CWU and Keith Norman, General Secretary of ASLEF to repudiate the comments of Kevin Slocombe and Chris Proctor as published in the June/July edition of The Journalist. While both letter writers are entitled to express their views of NUJ policies, they have no business telling our members what to do on behalf of their respective unions, as they appeared to do on this occasion.

This NEC is confident that Hayes and Norman will agree with us that it is a trades union’s responsibility to defend workers’ rights, as the NUJ has consistently done on behalf of photographers. We know that our members struggle daily with attacks from media companies. It is a sorry situation when trades unions appear to join the side of the bosses.

This NEC instructs the General Secretary to communicate this motion to the above General Secretaries and report back to the next NEC.”

I supported the motion and will keep you updated on developments. Any comments, especially from our photographer members?