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Support Leeds Strikers 25 March 2009

Posted by steve1917 in disputes, NUJ.
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Journalists at the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds Weekly News are taking strike action to defend their jobs and quality journalism.

They have already lost up to thirteen days of pay and need your help.

Johnston Press management, which this week announced profits of £128 million – or a 24.1% return on investment – is responding to the news by making 18 journalists redundant on the Yorkshire titles – 10% of the editorial workforce.

Johnston Press has returned hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends and bonuses to shareholders in recent years, while racking up debts of £450 million in a reckless expansion process.

Around 30 Johnston titles in Northern Ireland are at risk, all Johnston titles in the Republic have been put up for sale and management are seeking further redundancies in Scotland.

Members in Leeds are at the frontline in this dispute, as management become entrenched in their desire to service their debt and bolster their profits by sacking journalists and streamlining operations.

Management are refusing to rule out compulsory redundancies, which the union wholeheartedly oppose. The consequences of compulsory redundancies could lead to a similar approach being rolled out not only at Johnston titles, but also across the industry.

We are calling on every member to back the action taken by the workers in Leeds as they defend both jobs and a quality product of which they were once proud.

Branches have already been generous in their support, but we are calling on chapels – many of which will already be feeling the threat of cost-cutting and profiteering by management – to make collections, on a weekly basis, to ensure victory for our colleagues in Leeds.

Don’t worry if you can’t afford much – it all adds up.

A victory in Yorkshire will send a clear message that the NUJ will not stand for compulsory redundancies – and will always fight against the propaganda and profiteering which threatens our industry.

James Doherty    Jeremy Dear
President              General Secretary

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