Newsquest staff in Stourbridge vote 100% for industrial action
8 June 2010
Journalists employed on Newsquest titles in Stourbridge have delivered a 100% vote for industrial action, in defence of three colleagues. Newsquest plans to shift the three to another news centre, at Worcester 30 miles away, as part of a programme of cuts.
The staff, who work on the Stourbridge News, Halesowen News, Dudley News, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Advertiser and Redditch Advertiser have already seen their workloads increase alarmingly as a result of management cuts. Management's latest proposals will make this even worse, with an inevitable knock-on effect on the quality of these well-loved titles.
Chris Morley, NUJ northern & midlands organiser, said:
"Our members at Stourbridge have shown decisively with this vote that they are not prepared to put up with changes that would rip the heart out of an editorial team that has performed heroically in the face of constant cutbacks.
"They have sent the loudest possible message to management that they consider the company's plans to be unwelcome and unsuitable – and they want their concerns listened to, not trampled over.
"The alternative plans put forward by the chapel would retain the strong local identity and teamwork that has enabled the Stourbridge Newsquest centre to maintain quality journalism on strong local titles and websites. The company's proposals would potentially make the journalism of these operations more remote and less relevant to the communities they serve.
"Our members want the company to see sense and recognise that the future cannot be ever-more centralisation and reduction in editorial resources. That way lies ultimate ruin for jobs and newspapers as a businesses and our members at Stourbridge have shown that they are prepared to defend their colleagues – and future livelihoods."