Union activist admits: I voted against strike action

ONE of the best-known names in the National Union of Journalists in Scotland admits voting against strike action during one of most protracted industrial disputes in Scottish newspaper history.

On BBC Radio Scotland this morning, Frank Morgan – until recently, Father of Chapel at the Daily Record – says he voted against the action, at the Aberdeen Journals, in 1989.

He speculates it later cost him his marriage. But as deputy FoC at Aberdeen Journals, he complied with the majority wish to go on strike and helped lead his members on what was to become a year-long dispute.

Morgan is speaking in the last episode of a six-part series, Strike, being broadcast today, from 11.30am.

The strike – in two parts, the first lasting three weeks – was sparked by management attempts at The Press and Journal and the Evening Express to de-recognise the NUJ and have staff sign individual contracts.

It cost more than 100 jobs, including Morgan’s.

“I’ll confess, for the first time in nearly 20 years, I voted against the second strike. But it was a democratic body and I came out and I gave it my best shot.”

The strike – which ended up lasting a year – cost the NUJ an estimated one million pounds and pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy.

To this day, wounds have not entirely healed.