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Blackburn members join growing Newsquest action

17 November 2010

Journalists at Newsquest's Blackburn centre have unanimously voted to ballot for industrial action. Members there are taking action over the 2-year pay freeze, along with management's failure to commit to pay talks for 2011.

Staff are angry at management's assertion that it has been a "challenging time economically for the company" when trading figures seem to suggest otherwise. Newsquest North West results to December 2009 clearly show a £7.29 million pre-tax operating profit.

Figures for the same period show that parent company Gannett UK returned an operating profit of £71.7 million.

Additionally, like Newsquest journalists all over the UK, staff were shocked to discover that the highest paid director saw his overall pay package rise by 21.5 per cent up to £609,235 in 2009.

The unanimous opinion among Blackburn chapel members was that these facts totally devalue and undermine any company argument that they cannot afford a pay rise for staff.

Staff have however, left the door open for management. Staff have said that they are prepared to put plans for industrial action on hold, should management agree to lift the pay freeze and enter into negotiations with the chapel towards a pay rise for 2011.

Tags: blackburn, , gannett, strike, local newspapers, ballot, newsquest, pay, newspapers