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Johnston Press journalists in Scarborough to strike

28 April 2010

Journalists working for Johnston Press in Scarborough, Whitby and Malton are taking strike action next Friday. The NUJ members are in dispute with the group over the introduction of the Atex content management system and attacks on professional standards of journalism.

The Johnston Press Group's AGM is scheduled for 30 April in Edinburgh.

Earlier this month, 24 union members at the Scarborough and related sites took part in an industrial action ballot over management's failure to guarantee there would be no compulsory job losses, combined with a lack of consultation and unreasonable introduction of the Atex content management system. Colleagues at Johnston's Sheffield Newspapers operation are to hold a mandatory chapel meeting next week over the issue.

Chris Morley, NUJ organiser, said:

"There is only one sensible way forward in the interest of readers, journalists and the Johnston Press Group itself. The company must sit down with the union to negotiate – over pay and fair reward, over the implementation of the ATEX system and over workloads and staffing levels – so that a damaging dispute can be avoided. It is not too late for the management to start talking.
"If Johnston management refuses to be sensible, we will be naming further strike dates.
"Our members are particularly shocked that management is now threatening to axe two trainees in order to implement its misguided plans for the introduction of Atex. These young people were taking their first steps towards a career as professional journalists, and to treat them in this heartless way defies description.
"Ultimately, the changes being forced through by Johnston Press management are about cutting jobs. Editorial resources have been cut to the bone to pay for the Johnston debt mountain created a through a foolish policy of buying up other titles at high cost. Now their bankers are telling them to start making repayments. Our members refuse to be the victims of that mismanagement car crash."

Tags: , strike, yorkshire, newspapers, atex, scarborough, whitby, malton, johnston press, local newspapers, sheffield newspapers, sheffield, chapels, redundancies