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NUJ withdraws Newry Democrat strike notice

31 March 2011

The NUJ has withdrawn strike notice served on the Newry Democrat following negotiations with management. Agreement has been reached on a new procedure to deal with collective disputes.

The company has agreed not to implement a proposed electronic check-in scheme. The company has also agreed to create two new editorial staff posts in the newsroom.

Talks at the Labour Relations Agency last week failed to secure additional payments for four members who were made redundant following the acquisition of the Newry Democrat by the Alpha Newspaper Group. However, progress was made on a range of other issues in subsequent local talks.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, expressed disappointment at the company's failure to "meaningfully engage" at the Labour Relations Agency on the issue of redundancy payments. The NUJ will now proceed with Tribunal cases lodged on behalf of production journalists who were made redundant.

Séamus Dooley said:

"These workers have legal rights under transfer of undertakings legislation and we will pursue these cases with renewed vigour.
"At this stage, this is the most appropriate way of dealing with the outstanding issues. The stand taken by the chapel is to be strongly commended and the company now recognises that they must engage with the trade union on collective issues.
"Significant progress has been made thanks to the stand taken by the chapel, supported by Ian McGuinness, Assistant Organiser.
"The new agreement also provides for involvement of the LRA and this is a welcome development. The NUJ chapel at the Newry Democrat has set a headline and remains determined to ensure that their rights at work are respected by their employer."

Tags: , newspapers, newry democrat, strike, redundancies, local newspapers, newry, alpha newspaper group