British Journal of Photography – Political divides?

The National Union of Journalists is standing firm behind the creation of its first photographers’ branch, despite internal divisions that have threatened its launch. Olivier Laurent reports IN BJP

……. “Instead, Jeremy Dear, the Union’s general secretary, tells BJP that the four London members of the National Executive Council will ‘try to create the right conditions for setting up the new branch’.

Hoffman now believes that the ‘idea of a branch of hundreds of photographers is gone.’ However, says Wiard, despite its internal problems, ‘the branch is an important development. I will still be part of it, and it can still be made to work’ he tells BJP. ‘It’s important not just for what it will achieve but for what it has already established. In accepting the branch the NUJ has now finally acknowledged that we have a right to organise ourselves within the union as photographers.’ And eventually, he adds, it will lead to the creation of an Industrial Council for photographers.

According to the Union’s deputy general secretary, this could happen soon. ‘There was a motion at last week’s ADM calling for an industrial council for photographers to be established – the tabling body agreed for the motion to be remitted to the NEC for discussion and consideration, so the whole issue of photography becoming an industrial sector will be discussed in the course of the next 18 months.’

In the meantime, says Dear, the ‘NEC remains solidly behind the establishment of the branch.’ The branch’s first meeting is expected for 26 January 2010.” …..