Michelle Stanistreet NUJ

Stanistreet: 'My message to all journalists at News International is clear – it's time for action'

Credit: Yui Mok/PA
The National Union of Journalists has urged journalists at News International to revolt against their staff association and form an NUJ chapel to challenge the publisher's actions.

Writing on the blog of former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said the group's staff association, Nisa, while "well-intentioned", could not adequately protect members.

Her call comes amid growing unrest among News International staff following the recent Sun arrests and disclosures to police by News Corp's management and standards committee (MSC).

Stanistreet said Nisa was "set up by Murdoch as a union-busting move to legally block the NUJ from seeking recognition" and "the organisation is not capable of providing journalists with independent representation and genuine protection".

She also confirmed that the NUJ is working with two leading lawyers to challenge the MSC's actions.

Stanistreet wrote: "Nisa needs to go. Journalists need to have real collective protection and representation - for that they need a proper trade union, they need the NUJ.

She added: "My message to all journalists at News International is clear – it's time for action.

"If 10 per cent of journalists at News International say they want Nisa to be derecognised, the case can be made and won. With derecognition comes the opportunity for recognition of the NUJ.

"I need journalists on the titles to get in touch, to join the NUJ and to come together to form an organising NUJ chapel."

The NUJ has sought help from Geoffrey Robertson and John Hendy QC, who are drawing up "a range of legal measures to challenge the actions of the MSC and to provide help and support to members at News International before more members are thrown to the wolves", Stanistreet said.

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