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24-hour strike planned by North-east Newsquest titles

11 February 2014

Journalists on Newsquest titles in Bradford, York and Darlington have voted in favour of a 24-hour strike over the transfer of production to a subbing hub in Newport, Wales, which will result in job losses.

The action will start on Tuesday 18 February and will include titles such as the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, Northern Echo and The Press in York. There are 10 jobs at risk in Bradford, five in York and 10 in Darlington.

Members voted by 80 per cent for strike action in Bradford, by 83 per cent in York and by 75 per cent in Darlington. The union has called for talks with the management at the conciliation service ACAS.

The NUJ has also requested that Henry Faure Walker, who takes up the post of chief executive on 1 April, institutes a moratorium on the plans to destroy the jobs of dozens of loyal and experienced local journalists in favour of an untested subbing super-hub.

Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands Organiser, said:

"By now I suspect Newsquest realises the level of hostility and ill-feeling its reckless plans to export local journalism production to another country is generating.The management has a very limited window to avoid a hugely damaging united action by our three affected chapels on the same day. We have suggested a meeting with ACAS to open a dialogue and find a sensible solution. So far, we have not had a reply.

"I am now making a public appeal to Henry Faure Walker, the incoming chief executive, to show his staff he has a grip on reality and a willingness to think positively. I call on him to issue an immediate and complete moratorium to further work transferring from the regions to the Gwent subbing hub. The NUJ remains ready and willing to sit down with Mr Walker to thrash out a settlement that retains the maximum number of jobs where they should be - in the local centres."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"These are very strong votes for action and the management must take note. Newsquest, an American-owned company, clearly has no loyalty to its readers or staff. Local papers should be produced in the heart of the communities they serve, not more than 200 miles away in another country."

NUJ members are asked to Tweet their support at #NQstrike and send messages of solidarity to campaigns@nuj.org.uk

Tags: , Newsquest, strike, bradford, darlington, york, newspapers, regional newspapers, cuts, local newspapers, local news