The NUJ says it is taking the action on behalf of its members who are TV newsreaders, amid a bitter wrangle over having to say the name of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajoekull, repeatedly during rolling coverage.
The volcano, which has erupted twice in the last month and produced a cloud of volcanic ash that has grounded flights across the UK and northern Europe, is the subject of significant television coverage on UK news channels and the NUJ are demanding additional 'pronunciation payments' to cover glottal damage caused by repeatedly having to stumble through the volcano's name.
A spokesman for the Campaign for Plain English, who are supporting the NUJ action, said, "the expectation that journalists should have to repeatedly pronounce Eyjaflll.... Edgyfalafel... Eyjyfuckalittle... that Icelandic volcano is a cruel and unusual punishment for any newsreader, especially as they tend to be chosen more for their decorativeness than their linguistic talents. Eamonn Holmes excepted of course - but then he doesn't count as an English-speaker anyway.
"We at the NUJ believe that the additional payments are justifiable to cover the injuries our newsreaders are suffering trying to pronounce Eyjafllllll...Eyj....Eyjahfuckit, the name of the volcano. Just yesterday, struggling to say that word caused severe muscle damage to Susanna Reid's tongue, significantly inconveniencing her husband."
Foreign Secretary David Millipede has called for restraint from the NUJ, but agreed that the name of the volcano was difficult to pronounce. He said, "the Foreign Office sympathises with our brave newsreaders in this instance, and we are negotiating with the Icelandic Government to rename Ey...the volcano 'Gordon' in recognition of its explosive nature and the damage it's doing to the UK economy."
However, the Icelandic Government have rejected UK calls for the volcano to be renamed. Iceland's Ambassador to the UK,