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Union Rules

A couple of years ago I got the television version of Denise Mina's Field of Blood out of the local library. It turned out to be a bit spooky. It was set in the early 1980s, the lead character was a young "copy boy"on a Glasgow newspaper who walked to work every day. The lead character wanted to be a journalist. OK, the lead character was a girl who lived at home and I was guy who spent half his weekly wage on rent in Glasgow. But the parallels were striking. Mina's fictional character got to become a reporter on the paper. In real life, my immediate bosses wanted to promote me from copy boy to reporter. But then a new National Union of Journalists chapel guy arrived on the scene and the whole thing fell through. I think there was fear that as a trainee/probationary journalist I wouldn't be paid as much as the Glasgow Herald's real journalists and management would somehow use me as a Trojan Horse; the thin end of the wedge in some cunning scheme to reduce the editorial wage bill.


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