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Strike day announced for Newsquest titles next week

18 June 2014

A day's strike has been set for next Wednesday by Newsquest titles across the North West and London over plans to transfer editorial production work to Newport, Wales, redundancies and pay.

The papers affected include the Warrington Guardian and Northwich Guardian in Cheshire; the Sale and Altrincham Messenger, Trafford; the Wirral Globe in Birkenhead; the St Helens Star in Merseyside; Bolton News; Bolton Journal; Bury Journal; Bury Times, the Lancashire Telegraph and the South London Guardian papers.

The NUJ members in the Warrington chapel voted 93.1 per cent in favour of strike action and the Blackburn chapel by 83.1 per cent. They believe the plan to move production to the Welsh subbing hub will put at risk editorial quality, lead to redundancies and unacceptable workloads.

The journalists working on the London papers voted 100 per cent to go on strike. They are taking the action because they have had only one pay increase in six years, over the closure of the Elmbridge Guardian and the Twickenham office and loss of posts.

The union has told management that it remains committed to finding a resolution, without the need for action, and has called for talks.

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said:

"Our members are resolute in being ready to strike to defend their colleagues, their journalism and their sanity from exploitative overloading of work that will arise from the company's latest plans. In the absence of any realisation from Newsquest bosses that they have to fundamentally change tack on these plans, our chapels will take united strike action.
"There are signs that the company's timetable for implementation is slipping badly already. I suggest managers use this time to talk in a mature and conciliatory manner to their staff representatives about positive ways forward."

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