Express strike action over pay

Ludgate House: work will stop

Journalists at the Express Group in London are today (Friday) planning to take the first strike action on a national newspaper for 11 years.

If a dispute over pay is not resolved, NUJ members will stop work for three hours at 5pm, as the first edition is finalised. There will be further action on 27 and 29 March and 2 and 5 April.

The NUJ accuses the company of being prepared to pay millions for celebrity stories, but being too mean to pay a decent wage to its journalists.

Negotiations over a lump-sum payment to be evened out between staff have stalled at £1,100 a head, though the union says considerable progress has been made since the company’s

original offer of £750. The NUJ chapel wants £1,250 a head.

The current £1,100 offer works out at 3.1 per cent overall and 6.5 per cent for the lowest-paid trainees on £16,000 a year.

The action will be the first NUJ strike on a UK national paper since 1991, when journalists at the Telegraph Group staged a 36-hour stoppage over pay.

General secretary Jeremy Dear said: "After a decade of being silenced by aggressive, anti-union managements, journalists in national newspaper newsrooms are finding their voice again. And they are saying they want an end to the exploitation of low-paid staff." lNUJ members at Johnston Press’s Wakefield-based papers have voted to take three days of strike action on 27 and 28 March and 2 April unless pay negotiations resume. Regional Independent Media’s Lancashire Evening Post chapel has voted 95.5 per cent in favour of industrial action over pay.

 

By Jean Morgan

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