Newsquest London journalists begin two-day strike

Newsquest journalists in London have kicked off a two-day strike in protest at redundancies and pagination cuts.

NUJ members took to the picket lines today dressed as cowboys and cowgirls and carrying 'wanted' posters claiming Newsquest was responsible for the "death of local journalism".

The walkout comes after a series of disputes between staff and senior Newsquest management since the beginning of the year.

NUJ Members in Twickenham and Sutton have been working to rule since April and last month passed a vote of no confidence in two senior managers.

Newsquest has told staff it is making a number of journalists redundant on the titles – which include the Croydon Guardian and the Surrey Comet - including its entire sport and leisure team in South London.

NUJ general secretary-elect Michelle Stanistreet said: "Newsquest journalists are fighting for their communities and their jobs.

'It is time that Newsquest got the message that readers need their newspapers and the NUJ defends members and the quality journalism they provide."

NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick added: "Our members' overwhelming decision to take strike action in defence of jobs and quality was the inevitable result of a wrong-headed management policy. But it is not too late for the company to show some sense and sit down with us to discuss the future security of the papers which are so important to our members and their communities."

When Press Gazette contacted Newsquest's head office in Weybridge, Surrey, we were told that chief executive Paul Davidson was the only person who could comment on the strike but that he was not in the office today.

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