South London Press staff reject three per cent deal and break off pay talks

NUJ members at the South London Press have broken off talks with the paper’s management after rejecting a three per cent pay deal.

Managing director Peter Edwards has sent a letter to all staff outlining the three per cent deal, which would have started on 1 May and was on offer to all staff with six months’ service at the title.

The twice-weekly paper was sold by Trinity Mirror to Tindle Newspapers in August after it paid £18.75m for 27 newspapers.

Edwards, Trinity Mirror executive before the takeover, said the offer took into account the performance of the paper in his letter to staf.

He said: ‘What is showing is that the London and Essex papers appear to be performing well below the profit percentages achieved in the remainder of the Tindle group. While we believe this will improve, the outcome will not be known until later this year.

‘Add to that the extremely poor trading conditions generally in the last few months and you will see that we are still in a state of flux with these newspapers. While we expect the new set-up to be a great improvement for all concerned, the revenue and costs have been fluctuating at such a rate that we cannot gauge the actual profit figures for any of the centres.”

After prolonged negotiations the NUJ has rejected the pay deal and pulled out of talks with the management.

Edwards asked in his letter for all non-NUJ editorial staff to make themselves known to him so that they could receive the pay increase.

A South London Press employee, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Their attitude is causing a lot of resentment and could be a barrier to progress itself. It’s making what is by no means a militant chapel quite militant. Everyone’s attitude here is to sort this out without resorting to industrial action…but we are looking at all the options.”

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