Newsquest south London: support the action
28 September 2016
For the second time in the past year, journalists at Newsquest south London have been forced to take strike action as further cuts will make their workloads impossible and the proposed staffing levels will have a serious impact on their ability to produce quality journalism.
The chapel voted to strike for five days and has now extended the strike until Friday 28 October.
They have had fantastic support from local MPs, councillors the London Assembly. But the management could not care less and will not even meet the chapel.
Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, wrote to Henry Faure Walker, chief executive of Newsquest, regarding quality journalism, excessive workloads and high stress levels. She said she feared "young trainees who start off thinking they are beginning their dream career are dejected and burned out by the workloads and lack of support". He denied there were "cripplingly high workloads", yet when the only reporter on the Richmond & Twickenham Times/Wandsworth Guardian desk was on holiday, the papers and websites were left to be produced by the news editor, a work experience student and reporters from the Croydon Guardian.
The chapel would like to thank NUJ chapels, branches and members who have offered messages of support. Now they are asking for donations to sustain them as they take this action. If you are sending a donation can you also please email email@example.com noting the amount and send the money to:
Account number 20143387
Sort code 608301
Read the news about the dispute
What they said:
Newsquest south NUJ chapel: "The company’s proposal for the future of this newsroom and its news output is indicative of its continual lack of appreciation for its editorial staff, and its repeated failure to recognise the hard work and professional pride that goes into their work.
James Berry, Conservative MP for Kingston and Surbiton, "Whatever your politics, this is bad news for local democracy in #Kingston."
Fiona Twycross AM, Labour’s London Assembly economy spokesperson: “Newsquest is putting its staff in an appalling position. They are faced with the prospect of redundancy or an unmanageable workload, neither option is fair."
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
NUJ Members who live in south London are being asked to contact their MP or local councillors asking them to write to Newsquest chief executive Henry Faure Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org and local managing editor Tony Portelli at email@example.com requesting that they reverse this disastrous decision which puts the reporting of local democracy at risk and journalists out of work or with impossible workloads. You can contact your MP or local councillors via the Write to Them website.
Send messages of support to the Newsquest south chapel to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet your support #NQstrike to @NUJofficial
The strike followed action taken over similar issues the previous summer:
Following a 10-day strike which won support from local MPs, the London Assembly and readers, the NUJ and Newsquest cut a deal.