South Yorks strike journalists return to work

Journalists on indefinite strike in South Yorkshire for the past two months will return to work tomorrow to begin negotiations with owner Johnston Press.

The decision was made following a unanimous vote, according to a statement released by NUJ members this afternoon.

Around 25 journalists at the Doncaster Free Press, Epworth Bells, Selby Times and South Yorkshire Times have been on strike since 15 July in protest at jobs cuts, office closure, increased workloads and declining standards.

“We have offered the company several opportunities to talk and been rebuffed,” said reporter Martin Herron.

“However South Yorkshire Newspapers have now agreed that we can return to work without cancelling any further industrial action.

“Given that, we feel it is in everyone’s interest – the readers’, the company’s and our own – to return to work to allow talks to begin.

“The chapel is still very much united and we hope we will be able to find common ground with the company which will lead to an improvement in working conditions and in the quality of the newspapers we produce.”

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet added: ‘I am delighted that common sense has prevailed at South Yorkshire Newspapers and meaningful negotiations will start with the chapel. We have wanted talks all along and we hope they will be positive and constructive.”

The chapel has not ruled out the possibility of further industrial action.

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