The NUJ has launched a petition urging Britain's third biggest regional newspaper group – Newsquest – to end a pay freeze which it says has gone on for three years.
Newsquest is a subsidiary of US newspaper group Gannett and, according to the NUJ, the latest Newsquest figures show an operating profit of £58m and a salary of £612,000 (before bonuses and other perks) for highest-paid director chief executive Paul Davidson.
The NUJ's Chris Morley said: "There is huge anger about the cavalier way Newsquest staff are being treated. This petition is an opportunity to publicly air their disenchantment and send an important message to the handsomely-paid Newsquest directors that their staff can't tighten their belts indefinitely to give massive rewards to US shareholders.
"We want to make sure the directors know they are not going to get away with paying poverty wages without a challenge. The NUJ will challenge them all the way and expose greedy Gannett for what it is. Please support Newquest staff: sign the petition and it pass on."
A senior qualified reporter on a Newsquest paper is said to typically earn around £21,000.