By Democrat reporter
NUJ members employed by Bullivant Media Limited will be taking their second phase of strike action on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 September.
The action is in response to the company’s (voluntary and compulsory) redundancies, new working practices, and after months of journalists being underpaid.
This is the first NUJ strike under the Covid-19 lockdown. This in itself is a demonstration of the commitment of the chapel and a reflection of the strength of feeling among the NUJ members involved.
The Bullivant journalists are paid barely above the minimum wage and have had to take on second jobs during the coronavirus crisis to ensure they can pay their bills.
The NUJ chapel at Bullivant Media includes all 18 members of the editorial team and the chapel voted unanimously in favour of industrial action.
Following the two days of industrial action last week, Bullivant Media Limited placed adverts in its newspaper seeking to fill temporary journalism jobs seemingly in an attempt to break the strike.
The company runs weekly free newspapers and websites with titles including the Coventry Observer, Leamington Observer, Rugby Observer, Stratford Observer, Solihull Observer, Redditch Standard, Bromsgrove Standard, Worcester Observer and Evesham Observer.
NUJ members on strike have said –
“I was almost in rent arrears were it not for taking night shifts in a warehouse to ensure I had money to pay bills, all while reporting the coronavirus crisis for Bullivant Media’s titles.”
“After showing hard work and goodwill during the chaos of covid-19, the Bullivant’s failure to pay on time put me in severe financial difficulty.”
“While we were already stressed with the coronavirus crisis Bullivant Media heaped this on by not paying us on time, allowing non-editorial staff to try and poach our jobs and failing to listen to our concerns.”
“It is really upsetting to see the rambling copy and pasted press releases replacing once quality journalism everyday across social media. All the hard work I and my colleagues do for the paper has diminished and been undermined by non-editorial staff. It does not feel like our employer has our interests at heart whatsoever, or cares about our integrity as journalists and dedication to the community, or the community itself. I have worked hard, studied hard, paid money for training and exams just to be robbed of a job I love.”
Things you can do to help –
Send a message of support to the strikers via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the strike days you can tweet messages of support to @NUJofficial
Contact the company to raise your concerns and ask them to resolve the dispute with the union. Email:
Managing director Chris Bullivant Jr – Chris.Bullivant@bullivantmedia.com
Bullivant director Pat Bullivant – email@example.com
Supporters can donate to the NUJ strike hardship fund:
Sort code 60-83-01
Account number 20049274
Account name NUJ Manchester
Please label the donation as ‘Bullivant strike’
Please show your support and solidarity to the chapel and encourage your colleagues to do the same.