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Newsquest strike resolved 30 June 2011

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in disputes, NUJ.
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Newsquest journalists in South London called off their strike this week after negotiating an agreement to resolve a dispute over redundancies.

NUJ chapel members voted to accept an agreement to replace vacancies occurring over the next six months and to retain two additional editorial positions to what was planned.

The 33 Newsquest journalists had opposed management plans which included axing the whole sports and leisure department (eight journalists) and making one commercial features writer redundant.

Staff returned to work at Newsquest offices in Sutton and Twickenham yesterday, ending a work to rule and calling off the last two days of a four-day strike, following negotiations which started on  Monday.

NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick said:

The outcome of this dispute shows the need for management to work together with the NUJ to tackle the problems of the newspaper industry.

In this serious dispute with Newsquest, the group’s management has come to the negotiating table to reach agreement with the union. That reflects the impressive achievement of our NUJ chapel in recruiting so many journalists into the union, and then negotiating a settlement from a position of strength.

NUJ members at Newsquest in South London deserve our highest praise for their determination to see this dispute through to a satisfactory conclusion.

The NUJ is committed to the survival of local newspapers, but we need the co-operation of managements across the industry to ensure that.

The newspaper titles involved in the dispute were the Epsom Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Surrey Comet and Richmond & Twickenham Times.

And don’t forget the launch of the Stand up for local Journalism campaign in Enfield, North London, on Monday.


Newsquest South London on strike again 26 June 2011

Posted by Donnacha DeLong in disputes, NUJ.
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Newsquest journalists in South London are to take four more days of strike again this week. The strike begins tomorrow (Monday 27 June) and is due to end at midnight on Thursday 30 June.

The journalists’ are taking action due to a dispute with the company over redundancies and in support of quality local journalism. They took two days strike action just over a week ago, picketing Newsquest offices in Sutton and Twickenham.

Newsquest Guardian publishes ten titles, the Croydon Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Surrey Comet and Richmond & Twickenham Times.

NUJ negotiator Jenny Lennox said: “We’ve had a very successful two-day strike last week, and it is worth noting that a dozen journalists have joined the union since the dispute began. This reflects the deep anger which journalists employed by Newsquest at their bosses’ determination to avoid consulting with staff on the future of their papers.”

The NUJ strikers had previously adopted a unanimous vote of no confidence in their top management after a company decision to make an unspecified number of editorial staff redundant while the group’s titles continue to make substantial profits.

Follow the strike on the strikers’ blog and via their Twitter feed @ylgstrike.