Morning Star journalists announce strike ballot over pay

Journalists at left-wing daily newspaper the Morning Star are holding a strike ballot after rejecting a pay offer of three per cent.

The 16 journalists on the paper claim that management promises – made two years ago – to increase their pay to bring it closer in line with other national newspaper journalists have not been fulfilled.

Journalists on the title typically earn less than £18,000 a year, according to the National Union of Journalists. All but one of them are understood to be union members.

The future of the daily, which was launched in 1930 as the official paper of the Communist Party of Great Britain, was safeguarded last year by an anonymous consortium providing funding of £500,000 over three years.

The paper, which does not have an official ABC circulation figure, is set to relaunch in the spring in full colour and hire extra staff. It has a cover price of 60p and carries the slogan “for peace and socialism”.

NUJ national newspapers organiser Barry Fitzpatrick told Press Gazette: “There was a commitment over pay two years ago which hasn’t been fulfilled and that’s the real root of the problem.

“The £500,000 donation appears in this year’s books and journalists are saying that some of that should be used to correct the pay imbalance.”

Managament has been informed of journalists’ intention to ballot for industrial action – and the ballot will start on Friday.

Morning Star management have said that they believe the pay offer of three per cent, plus a three per cent lump sum, is higher than that offered by any other national newspaper this year.

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