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South Yorkshire strikers return to work

7 September 2011

NUJ members at South Yorkshire Newspapers (SYN) have returned to work after 55 days out on strike. The chapel has been on indefinite strike over job cuts, office closures, reduction of quality to their titles and workload. 

The chapel unanimously agreed to formally suspend the strike to allow talks to take place with management. The NUJ members on strike were reporters at four papers: the Doncaster Free Press, Epworth Bells, Selby Times and South Yorkshire Times.

During the campaign, the chapel has been highly successful in exposing the hugely damaging strategy of cuts at Johnston Press and confronted outgoing chief executive John Fry to bring home to him and fellow directors the devastation being caused to quality journalism.

Martin Herron, member of the chapel, said:

"We have offered the company several opportunities to talk and been rebuffed.
"However SYN have now agreed that we can return to work without cancelling any further industrial action.
"Given that, we feel it is in everyone's interest - the readers', the company's and our own - to return to work to allow talks to begin.
"The chapel is still very much united and we hope we will be able to find common ground with the company which will lead to an improvement in working conditions and in the quality of the newspapers we produce."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"I am delighted that common sense has prevailed at South Yorkshire Newspapers and meaningful negotiations will start with the chapel. We have wanted talks all along and we hope they will be positive and constructive."

Tags: , newspapers, local newspapers, regional newspapers, strike, south yorkshire newspapers, doncaster free press, epworth bells, selby times, south yorkshire times, cuts, quality journalism, pay and conditions