Third strikes at Newsquest Southampton and Brighton

Journalists working for Newsquest in Brighton and Southampton will this week go out on strike for a third time in protest at job losses and an ongoing pay dispute.

Members of the National Union of Journalists on Southampton’s Southern Daily Echo will start three consecutive days of strike action tomorrow over an ongoing pay freeze and non-payment of agreed minimums since July 2008.

At a chapel meeting before Christmas, union members voted to join two days of coordinated action taking place at Newsquest papers across the country this week while also striking for an additional day as a 2bonus for managers at the paper”.

The “bonus” strike day comes after journalists at the Echo claim to have been angered by staff who crossed picket lines during two 48-hour strikes in November and December being given two day’s extra pay.

They will be joined in strike action by journalists at The Argus in Brighton, who are expected to walk out on Thursday and Friday in protest against six sub-editors losing their jobs as work is transferred to a new centralised subbing ‘hub’ in Southampton.

Journalists in Brighton are also unhappy about a pay freeze at the company which has been in place for more than two and a half years, according to the website Brighton and Hove News.

The pay freeze, which stretched across the editorial departments of Newsquest papers across the country, seemed to be on the verge of being lifted before Christmas as the regional publishing group offered two per cent pay increase to editorial staff working on The Northern Echo in Darlington, The Press in York and at its centre in Bradford.

Press Gazette understands that other Newsquest centres across the UK may have received similar offers for a 2011 pay increase.

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