Express Newspapers staff to ballot for strike action over pay offer

Journalists at Express Newspapers are to ballot for strike action over the company’s refusal to negotiate a three pay cent pay award for all staff, according to the NUJ.

The union claims the company, owned by the Northern and Shell group, issued a ‘take it or leave it’offer of three per cent for all staff. The house agreement between the union chapel and management states that such offers should be negotiated with NUJ officials.

A resolution to ballot for industrial action was passed today at an hour-long meeting of the joint NUJ chapel, which covers both newspapers, in parent company Northern and Shell’s 9th floor canteen.

Father of chapel Steve Usher said: ‘This is a clear message to the management of Express Newspapers that their staff will not accept the imposition of pay awards decided arbitrarily by the management with complete disregard to the wishes of the chapel.

‘We have fought long and hard for our house agreement that requires management to meet with us and discuss our claims.”

The union said it was prepared to bring in conciliation service ACAS to resolve the dispute if the papers’ management would not negotiate a new deal.

The resolution, which was passed unanimously, reads: ‘In view of the management’s below-rate-of-inflation, ‘take it or leave it’ offer of 3 per cent and its failure to negotiate, the chapel will now proceed to a ballot on industrial action.”

The company’s staff in Broughton passed a similar motion in favour of balloting for action.

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