The picture, taken by Guy Smallman while he was covering the UNISON and Unite strikes earlier this year, appeared in City News, a paper produced by Southampton and Itchen Conservative Association.
Guy Smallman said: “The paper is was basically a crude propaganda sheet slagging off the strikers and the local Labour Party but I was horrified to see that one of my photos appeared as a thumbnail on the front page without permission or a byline. Although printed not much bigger than a postage stamp I took the matter to the NUJ out of principle.
“Of all the people for them try and rob I was a poor choice. I have been an NUJ rep for 11 years and joined my first trade union in Southampton aged 17 when I worked in a factory down on the docks. I support the Southampton strikers 100%, so have my work stolen for a crude attack on them was a double insult. It is also clear that they lifted the image in question from the website of Socialist Worker. I hope they will think twice about stealing other peoples work in future and they feel as stupid as they look.”
As a result of the NUJ’s intervention, Guy received £200 compensation from the Conservative Association. Unfortunately for them, NUJ members have traced the owner of another stolen photo used in the same paper but printed much larger. More legal action is expected.