November 20, 2015 Last Updated 7:43 am

FT journalists overwhelmingly vote to authorize strike, action delayed for now

Morning Brief: Gunmen take 170 hostages at Radisson Hotel in Bali’s capital, special forces move in, freeing many; candidates compete to see who can propose the most outrageous response to terrorist attacks

Staff at the Financial Times voted to authorize a strike over the issue of changes to the pension plan. But at the same time, they have decided to delay any action pending a response from management. Holding up any action is the fact that the new owner of the FT, Japanese media company Nikkei, will not assume control over the property until November 30.

FT-front-11-20-15-300In a vote of members of the National Union of Journalists, 91.8 percent voted to authorize a strike, or industrial action as the Brits like to say.

“This overwhelming vote shows the widespread anger over attempts to backtrack on a commitment to maintaining our pensions after the takeover,” Steve Bird, FT NUJ FoC (Father of Chapel) said. “FT senior managers have completely lost the trust of their staff including most senior journalists. We will be seeking talks with our new owners and expect a clear commitment to make good any shortfall on our pensions.”

Nikkei management recently made a concession in negotiations with the union, but the move was considered too little by the union and its members.

“We note management’s proposal to restore £4m to the pension budget for one year but we believe that a longer term solution remains vital to bring security to FT Group journalists,” the union said in a statement released today.

“We welcome this short-term concession but pensions are long-term benefits and we would look to management to come forward with a substantive offer that gives staff the equivalence they were promised at the start of the process.”

Mali-480By the time many in the States, especially on the west coast, read this the hostage situation in Mali will likely be over. Gunmen took over a Radisson hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, seizing about 170 people, letting others go who could recite the Shahada. Special forces have now entered the hotel and reports say some hostages have already been released.

Unfortunately, it appears that there will be many casualties.

Meanwhile, this will no doubt only increase the amount of insane rhetoric coming from certain quarters, and add more calls for ending civil liberties for targeted groups.

Several websites reported yesterday that Yahoo had begun blocking users from accessing their mail if they were using an ad blocker. The move drew widespread criticism on social media, as could be expected.

Also expected was Yahoo’s swift retreat. I was able to access an old email account without bumping up against the ad blocker warning, a sign that either they have ended their ban on ad blockers, or it is being applied randomly.

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