Strike off at Morning Star after pay rise accepted

Journalists at the Morning Star, the left-wing daily, have called off strike action after securing a nineteen thousand pound minimum salary.

For most staff – who, according to the National Union of Journalists’ chapel, were paid less than £18,000 – that represents a 5.7 per cent rise.

Staff will also receive a one-off bonus worth three per cent of salary.

The previous offer, which caused a ballot in favour of strike action, was three per cent, with a four per cent bonus.

The NUJ chapel that, with inflation at four per cent at the time, that was “effectively a pay cut”.

Last month, they voted 11 to three in favour of a strike – but called it off as an “act of good faith” so talks could continue.

Morning Star political editor, John Haylett, had warned a strike could “secure the closure” of the 79-year-old paper.

“Wages are low at our paper for the same reason that they are so at every other socialist paper,” he said.

“We have low circulation and no access to the big business advertising that keeps every capitalist daily paper in being.

“Every Morning Star staff member is told bluntly at interview: ‘The wages are crap. We work at the paper because we are politically committed to its aims’.”

An anonymous donor has pledged £600,000 to the paper, spread over three years, which the union claimed should be spent on wages.

A chapel statement this morning said the pay rise ‘exposed management’s claim that the paper could not afford to improve pay”.

The Morning Star was launched in 1930 as the Daily Worker, the official paper of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and relaunched in 1966.

The paper, which does not have an official ABC circulation figure, is set to relaunch in the spring in full colour.

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