York journalists consider further industrial action

Journalists at York Press are considering further industrial action after a five-day strike failed to bring an offer of talks from Newsquest’s management.

According to the NUJ, 34 out of the 58 editorial staff went on strike last week over a pay-increase offer of three per cent – which they claim is well below inflation and less than that given to staff on several other papers in the group.

Sam Southgate, NUJ Father of Chapel for the York Press, said union members had been overwhelmed by support.

Local actors, MPs, councillors and the public had all offered their support and over 1,000 signatures had been collected and an estimated £10,000 raised for the strike fund.

Southgate said the support and funds had give journalists confidence that they could take things further. ‘We’re really pleased with its success,’said Southgate. ‘The reaction within the NUJ is overwhelming.”

Staff returned to work on Tuesday morning, but union members were still waiting to hear from management at Newsquest.

It is understood that business at York Press was not affected.

Southgate said: ‘We want to carry on with our campaign. We’ve had a few ideas, including further industrial action. A strike is a last resort but people would be prepared to do it again. We’re just hoping management will come back to the table for talks.”

Jenny Lennox, assistant northern organiser for the NUJ, said they were pleased with a visit early on by a visit from Selby MP John Grogan. ‘We have an early day motion which has been lodged by Grogan, and we’re hoping to get MPs to sign that. We’re trying to raise profile for the campaign.”

Newsquest management was unavailable for comment.

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