NUJ head Michelle Stanistreet has launched a campaign to get News International journalists back in the union via the News of the World's former chief reporter's blog.
The journalists' union chief urges staff at The Sun and The Times to leave internal staff union the News International Staff Association (NISA) for the NUJ.
In a blog on Neville Thurlbeck's website, she writes:
“My message to all journalists at News International is clear – it’s time for action. If you want protection that’s independent, that puts journalists and journalism first – you need to join the NUJ now. If you want a collective independent voice sticking up for your rights at work, a union that puts journalistic ethics first and doesn’t pay mere lip-service to the fundamental principle of protecting your sources, you need to join the NUJ now."
She adds: "If ten per cent of journalists at News International say they want NISA to be derecognised, the case can be made and won. With derecognition comes the opportunity for recognition of the NUJ."
Stanistreet also confirms that the NUJ is working with top human rights lawyers Geoffrey Robertson and John Hendy to help protect News International staff from revealing their sources.
An NUJ spokesperson told The Huffington Post UK: "We're not attacking NISA but it's not fit for purpose. Management have thrown staff to the wolves and NISA has been created and has been funded by Murdoch.
"We have individual members… But what basically Murdoch did was to say I'm going to set up NISA, it will be your own staff forum within News International. That's the way it has been for 25 years.
"On the spectrum of all the nationals News International is the worst [in terms of union links]. "
The call comes as Rupert Murdoch prepares to fly to London after several senior journalists at The Sun were arrested over alleged payments to police at the weekend.