Since I've written for the Morning Star
and allowed them to use materials from my blog (all free of charge, naturally), I feel I should briefly point out that the bosses there are currently tearing up existing agreements with the staff union. Those staff members are now balloting for strike action. The new deal imposed by management amounts to a real terms pay cut, and as such has been rejected by the union. The bosses are crying poverty, but they are actually planning to hire new staff and have just received half a million pounds in new investment to expand the paper. They claim that when the investors gave this money, they insisted it be 'ringfenced' for expansion of the paper. Even if this is true, there is no excuse for terminating negotiations and imposing a unilateral deal that breaks previous agreements. The former editor John Haylett (himself the beneficiary of successful industrial action by the paper's staff back in 1998) is now acting as the management committee representative, and is responsible for sending out the letters imposing the deal unilaterally. He has accused NUJ members of being "a group of workers who are putting their own interests before those of our class as a whole"
. Supporters of the management position have flooded the blogs with vitriolic claims about the journalists, including the charge that they are going to do what "a government ban, Hitler’s bombs and the triumph of revisionism in the CPGB and the Soviet Union failed to achieve", by finishing off the Morning Star
. This is a lavish Stalinist variant on the old management excuse that "if you strike, you'll ruin the business". Well, until this dispute is resolved, my advice to anyone approached to contribute to the Morning Star
would be to politely remind them that socialists do not cross picket lines.
Labels: class struggle, morning star, stalinism