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Newsquest London strike, day two

19 June 2015

Day two of the Newsquest London strike started with a puzzling headline on the Comet's front page.

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser said:comet front page newsquest strike

"At the heart of this dispute is proper resourcing for local newspapers. The brilliant stand taken by our members demonstrates the need for Newsquest and parent company Gannett to genuinely invest for the future - in pay, in staffing - for readers and for advertisers. It's clear today the company can't manage without its committed editorial staff. They should come back round the table and get these issues sorted out pronto."

Messages of support  and donations continued to flood in. You can email brass19@hotmail.com for details on how to make a donation.

Visitors to the picket line included Gavin Barwell, Conservative MP for Croydon Central, Steve Reed MP for Croydon North, Andrew Pelling, Labour councillor for Waddon and former Croydon Central MP and Kevin Zuchowsky-Morrison, owner of Rise Gallery in central Croydon,  who said: "It's devastating news that something so integral and part of our community is facing cuts like this."

A member of the Sutton Guardian chapel spoke at the NUJ's national executive council meeting and was given a warm reception. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, comended them for the action and urged members of the committee to visit the picket line.

The International Federation of Journalists and European Federation of Journalists sent out a press release saying they stood "squarely behind the NUJ and its members working for Newsquest in South London". Unions in America agreed to send a letter in support to Gracia Martore, the chief executive officer of Gannett, Newsquest' parent company in America.   Message from IFJ and EFJ

The chapel’s demands include a 3 per cent salary increase and changes to a major reorganisation affecting Newsquest titles in South and Southeast London, including The Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Balham and Tooting Guardian, Mitcham and Morden Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Surrey Comet, Elmbridge Comet, the Richmond & Twickenham Times, and the News Shopper series covering Dartford, Swanley,  Lewisham, Catford, Greenwich, Gravesham, Bexley and Bromley.

The NUJ wants to achieve:

  • No compulsory redundancies and a workable structure that suits the needs of the company and members of editorial.
  • A halt to plans to move journalists further away from the communities they serve.
  • A written guarantee that the implementation of new organisational systems will not result in further restructures or redundancies.
  • Fair pay for Newsquest South London journalists including the London Living Wage for all reporters.

The  South London Guardian chapel said:

"Our papers hold those in power to account, provide a voice to local residents and fight the rights of some of the most vulnerable people in society. If local newspapers are not properly staffed, important stories will be go unreported and residents will be left in the dark.  
"We are calling for Newsquest to invest in the communities it purports to serve. If you’re concerned about your local paper, please take five minutes to let the company know."

Ways you can support the strikers:

Send your messages of support to campaigns@nuj.org.uk

Tweet your messages of support to @NUJofficial.

Get in contact with the Newsquest & Gannett management @Gannett:  

Gracia Martore,  Gannett CEO,  Gannett Co, 7950 Jones Branch Drive McLean, VA 22107-0150 703-854-6000
 
Henry Faure Walker, chief executive, Newsquest Media Group Ltd, 30 Cannon Street,  London  EC4M 6YJ  h.faurewalker@newsquest.co.uk  @faurewalker

Gary Kendall,  managing director,  Newsquest (London) Ltd,  Floor 10, Quadrant House, The Quadrant,  Sutton, Surrey  SM2 5AS gkendall@london.newsquest.co.uk
 
If Newsquest does not see sense before Thursday and the strike goes ahead, we will be asking for financial help to aid the journalists out on strike. Please ask your branch to make a donation or feel free to make a personal donation.

If your paper is being affected, please ask your MP, London Assembly member or local councillor to get in touch with Newsquest  and ask them to intervene to support quality local newspapers. You can contact your member via the Write to them website.

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Tags: , local newspapers, local news matters, newsquest, strike, sutton guardian, sutton guardian chapel