Tindle faces second strike over non-replacement of staff

Journalist at Tindle Newspaper’s Enfield division have voted to strike for the second time in the space of three months.

The nine members of the National Union of Journalists at Enfield have voted 100 per cent in favour of taking industrial action. Acccording to then NUJ, series editor Gary O’Keeffe is set to join the picket line for the first time.

The first strike by the nine was over six days in April and May.

NUJ members said the ballot was called because of Tindle management’s ongoing refusal to ‘meet or even discuss the desperate situation at the Enfield-based papers”, where they claim two-thirds of the newsdesk have left without being replaced.

Following the recent departure of another reporter, there are now two reporters providing copy for nine editions.

Members also claimed their freelance budget for photographers, production and editorial staff has been cut.

Father of the Chapel Jonathan Lovett said: ‘The latest cuts and suicidal policy of non-replacement is final proof that Tindle couldn’t give a damn about quality papers.

‘The battle for the soul of the local press is raging up and down the country and now is the time for chapels, journalists and concerned readers to stand up and be counted before it is too late and fantastic local papers that once made a difference in their communities are consigned to the scrap heap.”

The affected newspaper are: The Enfield Advertiser, The Edmonton Advertiser & Herald, The Winchmore Hill Advertiser & Herald, The Haringey Advertiser, The Enfield Gazette, The Barnet & Potters Bar Press, The East Barnet Press & Advertiser, The Edgware & Mill Hill Press, The Hendon & Finchley Press.

No-one at Tindle Newspapers was available for comment, but when the last strike was called the company issued a statement saying: ‘The dispute is about the paper’s non-replacement of staff leaving by natural wastage in this recession and is despite the company making huge and unsustainable losses.

‘The group is the only one so far not to make journalists redundant in the downturn. That meant non-replacement of those who left for other jobs.’

Meanwhile, Enfield has been chosen as the launch pad for the NUJ’s new national campaign to save local newspapers.

A public forum will take place at 6.30pm on Monday 4 July at the Dugdale Centre, Thomas Hardy House, London Road, Enfield Town, featuring a range of speakers including MPs and the new general secretary of the NUJ Michelle Stanistreet

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