Newsquest journalists resolve South London dispute
29 June 2011
Newsquest journalists in South London have called off their four-day strike after negotiating an agreement to resolve a dispute over redundancies.
NUJ chapel members have voted to accept an agreement to replace vacancies occurring over the next six months and to retain two extra editorial positions.
The 33 Newsquest journalists had opposed management plans which included axing the whole sports and leisure department (eight journalists) and making one commercial features writer redundant.
Staff returned to work at Newsquest offices in Sutton and Twickenham today, ending a work to rule and calling off the last two days of a four-day strike, following negotiations which began last Monday.
Barry Fitzpatrick, NUJ head of publishing, said:
"The outcome of this dispute shows the need for management to work together with the NUJ to tackle the problems of the newspaper industry.
"In this serious dispute with Newsquest the group's management has come to the negotiating table to reach agreement with the union. That reflects the impressive achievement of our NUJ chapel in recruiting so many journalists into the union, and then negotiating a settlement from a position of strength.
"NUJ members at Newsquest in South London deserve our highest praise for their determination to see this dispute through to a satisfactory conclusion..
"The NUJ is committed to the survival of local newspapers, but we need the co-operation of managements across the industry to ensure that."
The newspaper titles involved in the dispute are the Epsom Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Surrey Comet and Richmond & Twickenham Times.