The NUJ has won a significant financial victory for staff made redundant as a result of newspaper title closures.
The case was taken as a result of a lack of consultation over staff redundancies when the Daily and Sunday Sport newspapers, home of the infamous headline ‘World War II Bomber Found On The Moon’, closed on Monday 4 April 2011.
The NUJ represented 62 staff and each person involved is now entitled to claim 8 weeks’ pay capped at £400 from the Redundancy Payments Office: the total amounts to £3,200 per person.
The NUJ took the case on behalf of journalists who were members of the NUJ but the union also extended its support and assistance to all non-journalistic staff in the workplace who were not represented by another trade union at the time.
General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “This is a fantastic result and shows just how valuable it is to have the backing of the NUJ. I hope this victory also sends a strong message to those companies who choose to shirk their legal obligation to engage in a meaningful consultation process.”
Assistant organiser Lawrence Shaw said: “The NUJ is pleased to have secured a total of nearly £200,000 in damages for employees who lost their jobs when the Sport Media Group went into administration.
“The former Daily and Sunday Sport newspapers had a loyal and talented workforce before it was closed down in April. Unfortunately the papers were badly mismanaged and suffered a premature death. Questions still remain over the role of Richard Desmond and the taxpayer-owned RBS bank in the closure of the titles. It is easy for people to forget that the Daily Sport was the first daily newspaper in the UK to go to the wall since 1984.
“I hope this case demonstrates the importance of journalists being members of the NUJ and sheds some light on the benefits of joining a trade union. No other organisations lead the fight for justice in the same way. It’s cost the union the same amount of money to take the case for everyone as if we’d have taken it just for our members.”