20 June 2014
Overwhelming votes in favour of action by NUJ members at Newsquest titles mean a one-day strike has been set for next Wednesday, 25 June, at Newsquest titles across the North West and London. The strike is over several issues – plans to transfer editorial production work to Newport, Wales, and redundancies and pay.
The papers affected include the Warrington Guardian and Northwich Guardian in Cheshire; the Sale and Altrincham Messenger, Trafford; the Wirral Globe in Birkenhead; the St Helens Star in Merseyside;Bolton News; Bolton Journal; Bury Journal; Bury Times, theLancashire Telegraph and the South London Guardian papers.
The NUJ members in the Warrington chapel voted 93.1 per cent in favour of strike action and the Blackburn chapel 83.1 per cent. They believe the plan to move production to the Welsh subbing hub will put editorial quality at risk, and lead to redundancies and unacceptable workloads.
The journalists working on the London papers voted 100 per cent to go on strike. They are taking the action because they have had only one pay increase in six years, over the closures of the Elmbridge Guardian and the Twickenham office, and loss of posts.
The union has told management that it remains committed to finding a resolution, without the need for action, and has called for talks.
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said:
“Our members are resolute in being ready to strike to defend their colleagues, their journalism and their sanity from exploitative overloading of work that will arise from the company’s latest plans. In the absence of any realisation from Newsquest bosses that they have to fundamentally change tack on these plans, our chapels will take united strike action.
“There are signs that the company’s timetable for implementation is slipping badly already. I suggest managers use this time to talk in a mature and conciliatory manner to their staff representatives about positive ways forward.”
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