York Press journalists renew strike mandate

Journalists at The Press in York have voted for another three months of industrial action in response to compulsory redundancies.

The National Union of Journalists chapel first approved industrial action in January, voting 85 per cent in favour.

Since then, journalists on Newsquest-owned paper and sister titles have held a number of compulsory chapel meetings lasting several hours, including two this week.

As the 12-week mandate for industrial action, approved in January, is due to end, journalists this week voted to extend it – voting 89 per cent in favour of a strike.

Management have now been told that compulsory meetings, starting at 9.15am, could be called on any day until the end of June.

Seven editorial job cuts were announced in February, and two NUJ members now face compulsory redundancy.

At yesterday’s compulsory chapel meeting, members heard from one of those facing redundancy.

NUJ assistant organiser Jenny Lennox said: “Last summer the journalists at Newsquest York went on strike over pay and during that time they built strong bonds of friendship.

“They are determined not to let management pick them off for redundancy.”

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear added: “Newsquest York has been making good profits for years but pays low wages and repeatedly cuts jobs.

“NUJ members in the city have been waging a heroic struggle against this unjust behaviour for most of the last year.

“They are standing up for professional journalism and for the right to know what’s happening in their community of people in North Yorkshire.”

In January, journalists at The Press announced they had asked the NUJ to explore interest in a local buyout.

Last month, Newsquest – which, like most groups, has imposed a pay freeze – asked all staff to take a week’s unpaid leave.

Newsquest York managing editor Steve Hughes was unavailable for comment.

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