Victory for FT Chinese journalists

Good news for the Financial Times journalists who faced redundancy if they did not return to China, on half their salaries.

The management has changed its mind, following the FT chapel’s threat that its members would ballot on industrial action if the FT Chinese journalists were not allowed to stay.

We reported on the National Union of Journalists’ outrage over the affair on 12 February. The latest update comes from NUJ Active (we expect a fuller NUJ statement soon):

The immediate defence by journalists at the Financial Times of Chinese colleagues threatened with redundancy by management has brought complete victory. The FT chapel demanded unanimously that the redundancy threat be lifted from their four colleagues on the FTChinese website, and warned that otherwise FT journalists might ballot on industrial action. So management did as it was told.

Update: and here’s the fuller NUJ statement:

Two of the four Chinese journalists are British citizens, and they all work on terms and conditions inferior to other journalists at the Financial Times. The newspaper had decided that the specialist group of Chinese journalists at the paper had to return to China on half their current salaries or else accept redundancy.

The NUJ chapel voted unanimously at a capacity meeting: “We condemn the outrageous treatment of journalists on FTChinese. We demand no redundancies on FTChinese and that the journalists be placed on the same terms and conditions as the rest of FT editorial We will ballot for industrial action if these demands are not met.”

“We are pleased that our employer has realised just how unfair and unacceptable were its proposals for our Chinese colleagues. We look forward to talking with management about securing the future of our Chinese journalists at the Financial Times on proper terms and conditions,” said David Crouch, the father of chapel.

“Financial Times management has had the good sense to reconsider an unacceptable decision. Our FT Chapel is to be congratulated on its speedy and determined resistance to a management error which was entirely unacceptable to the culture of the diverse media culture of the NUJ,” said NUJ general secretary, Jeremy Dear.

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