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Message to the branch from a grateful chapel 25 June 2011

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in disputes, NUJ.
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Jonathan Lovett, FoC at North London & Herts Newspapers, has sent the following message to London Central Branch following the resolution of their dispute with Sir Ray Tindle:

Thanks to branch members for their wonderful support received over the past few months in our dispute with Tindle Newspapers – finally brought to a conclusion a couple of days ago.

Ultimately, the result was a positive one which just proves that going on strike and standing up for yourselves does work. After the first wave of strike action – over two weeks in April involving a mass demonstration, funeral procession and addressing meetings up and down the country – we were on the verge of a second when a deal was finally struck.

As one of the clauses in the deal was not to “crow” about it (!), I won’t go into too much detail but just to say it was a satisfactory result which means we can go back to work with self-respect restored and a foundation for the future.

Support from across the country, Early Day Motions and questions in the house, besides another rock solid 100% “Yes” vote for strike action had seemed to focus Sir Ray Tindle’s mind and the hope now is that we can use this as a platform to push forward and return our papers to the quality, award-winning publications they once were.

Also, a word of praise for my colleagues, the bold “Enfield Nine” striking journalists who put principles and our readers before threats of redundancy and half a month’s loss of earnings. Respect is due.

We would also like to use our relative success as a small beacon of hope for other chapels up and down the country and urge everyone to attend the launch of the NUJ’s national campaign on Monday, July 4 to save local newspapers. It takes place five minutes from our offices in Enfield, starts at 6.30pm and more details can be found under the NUJ Active section on the NUJ’s website.

Yours in solidarity,
Jonathan Lovett.


Tindle newspapers dispute resolved 23 June 2011

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in disputes, NUJ.
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The dispute over staffing and quality in North London and Herts Newspapers has been resolved. The dispute in Enfield had centred on non-replacement of journalists at the Tindle newspaper group’s titles and led to a strike in April. The NUJ chapel had recently voted to take further strike action.

NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to hold genuinely positive discussions with management to resolve the differences between us. Both sides recognise that producing newspapers which serve local communities properly is a business requiring commitment from everybody involved.

“Happily, that commitment exists at North London and Herts Newspapers, helping us to resolve our dispute. We look forward to engaging in further discussions with management at an early date to consider ways to advance the interests of our members and the newspapers and communities they serve.”

According to the chapel’s strike blog, following a successful day of negotiations, Tindle has agreed to reverse its policy of non-replacement agreeing to a six month moratorium on present staffing levels – guaranteeing that if anyone in editorial leaves over this period they will be replaced. They have also agreed an extra reporter to work for half the week to help out with the current workload. The situation after six months will then be reviewed. Redundancy consultation notices issued to staff on the eve of their first walk out have been withdrawn.

FOC Jonathan Lovett said: “It has been a long, hard struggle but we are satisfied with the result and now look forward to working together with Tindle to ensure our papers are returned to the quality publications which our readers deserve. We have many ideas for the future of our papers and we look forward to sharing them with the Tindle management across the table.”

Jonathan Lovett will speak at the upcoming launch of the NUJ campaign to save local journalism.

This story has also been covered by:

Journalism.co.uk: Tindle Newspapers strikes deal with Enfield Nine, says NUJ
Hold the Front Page: Strike off as Tindle puts headcount reductions on hold
Press Gazette: Tindle resolves Enfield industrial dispute