Fighting talk from NUJ as Newsquest revolt spreads

Journalists at Newsquest centres in Blackburn, Bradford, Bolton and York have now all voted in favour of industrial action as a revolt over pay and conditions at the regional media group spreads.

The strike votes come as Newsquest journalists in Southampton and Brighton today hold a second day of industrial action.

According to the National Union of Journalists, Newsquest journalists at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times in Glasgow have also to ballot for industrial action in a fight against compulsory redundancies.

Bob Smith, who is chair of the NUJ Newsquest Group chapel, said: “This is a wake-up call to managers who continue to bury their heads in the sand while this huge wave of discontent washes across Newsquest.

“Paul Davidson [chief executive] and his regional managers need to take their fingers out of their ears and listen to NUJ members in Bradford, in Southampton, Brighton, Darlington, York, Bolton and Blackburn, Oxford and Andover who are telling them the same thing: come to the negotiating table, for the sake of your journalists, your readers and your company.”

NUJ deputy general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “Newsquest and their American owners have been relentless in their pursuit of higher profits at the expense of quality journalism and their staff have simply had enough. The growing anger amongst journalists throughout the group and their determination to bring the company to the negotiating table is clear.

“Just this week members in Southampton and Brighton have been on strike and colleagues on sister titles will soon join with them for more industrial action. They have the full backing of everyone in the NUJ in their battle to save jobs, for a fair pension deal and a long-overdue salary increase that reflects the vital work they do. Our members and the communities they serve expect and deserve better.”

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