Strike action has been cancelled at the Telegraph Group after management agreed to make Saturday working voluntary for production staff rather than compulsory and offered a one off payment of £5,000 to volunteers.
NUJ members voted to strike after rejecting new work practices which they said were imposed without negotiation when 54 jobs were axed during the relocation from Canary Wharf to Victoria. The move also coincided with the creation of a multimedia newsroom. A three-day strike was suspended at the end of October to allow for talks to continue.
Father of Chapel John Carey said: ‘This agreement represents a significant success for us. By taking a strong stand, we have forced the company to abandon its original plan to impose compulsory Saturday working on production staff. Now we have secured firm guarantees on the way Saturday working will operate.
‘One important thing to note is it is a one off payment of £5,000 – it is only for one year, and would be about £3,000 after tax. We weren’t happy with this but went along with it after further guarantees were made. Management agreed that no one would be required to work more than 15 Saturdays in a year. The agreement is now much firmer than when they originally proposed it.’The company also offered a one off payment to all members of staff and regular casuals of £500 for their work under difficult conditions. The union claimed this reward was issued due to negotiations with management but a Telegraph spokesman said: ‘We’re pleased that the union reached agreement with us after our initiative to reward all our staff with a £500 special payment following the move, that the issues over Saturday working have now been settled, and that we have secured a successful future for the Telegraph Media Group.”