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Newsquest journalists in South London strike for jobs and quality

NUJ strikers choose a Wild West theme to underline how cowboys are running their Newsquest newspaper group

NUJ strikers choose a Wild West theme to underline how cowboys are running their Newsquest newspaper group  -  © Private

17 June 2011

Journalists at Newsquest in South London have held a two-day strike in their dispute over redundancies and in support of quality local journalism. NUJ members had already been working to rule, and the strike followed a massive vote for action.

The NUJ strikers had previously adopted a unanimous vote of no confidence in their top management after a company decision to make an unspecified number of editorial staff redundant while the group's titles continue to make substantial profits.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary-elect, said:

"Newsquest journalists are fighting for their communities and their jobs. It is time that Newsquest got the message that readers need their newspapers and the NUJ defends members and the quality journalism they provide."

Barry Fitzpatrick, NUJ head of publishing, said:

"Our members' overwhelming decision to take strike action in defence of jobs and quality was the inevitable result of a wrong-headed management policy. But it is not too late for the company to show some sense and sit down with us to discuss the future security of the papers which are so important to our members and their communities."

Newsquest London has announced job cuts at the Croydon Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Surrey Comet, Sutton Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian and Wimbledon Guardian.

In 2009, Newsquest recorded an operating profit of £71.7m.

The strikers have been keeping journalists and readers informed of developments through a special strike blog. They also have a Facebook group Strike - Newsquest South London and a Twitter account @ylgstrike.

Tags: , newsquest, newspapers, local newspapers, regional newspapers, croydon guardian, embridge guardian, epsom guardian, kingston guardian, streatham guardian, surrey comet, sutton guardian, wandsworth guardian, wimbledon guardian, strike, cuts, quality journalism