'Sham' claim as Mercury staff settle for 3 per cent

NUJ members at the Leicester Mercury have accused the company of treating its staff with contempt during ‘sham’negotiations over pay.

The chapel this week ditched plans to strike over pay and has accepted the company’s offer of a three per cent pay rise after not enough members voted in favour of the action. The chapel originally asked for an eight per cent increase.

Out of 44 chapel members, 21 voted for strike action. Mercury editor Nick Carter said the vote for striking represented 21 per cent of the total staff.

After accepting the offer, the chapel sent a letter to Mercury editor Nick Carter saying it was ‘dismayed at the management’s intransigence and unwillingness to conduct proper and meaningful negotiations during this year’s pay talks.

‘Treating staff with such contempt throughout the process has, without doubt, increased levels of resentment towards the company and added to the already low morale, caused largely by the continuing job cuts across all departments.

‘The conduct of management throughout the sham of negotiations does the company no credit.”

The letter went on to say that the chapel had reluctantly agreed ‘out of goodwill’to accept the offer and that it hoped the company would reciprocate the goodwill with ‘proper and meaningful’negotiations next year.

Carter did not comment specifically on the chapel’s accusations, but said: ‘I am pleased the threat of action, that could have hindered the progress we are trying to make on newspaper sales, has been lifted.”

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