Support the 24-hour strikes to keep local papers local
14 February 2014
Ask your MP to sign the early day motion supporting the journalists on Newsquest titles in Bradford, York and Darlington who have voted in favour of a 24-hour strike over the transfer of production to a subbing hub in Newport, Wales, resulting in job losses.
The action will start on Tuesday 18 February and will include titles such as the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, Northern Echo and The Press in York. There are 10 jobs at risk in Bradford, five in York and 10 in Darlington.
You can Tweet messages of support at #NQStrike, @NUJYork, @nujdarlington @NUJBradford. Email messages to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit Facebook Keep The Echo Northern.
You can contact your MP via this website
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"There has been a very strong vote to go on strike. Your journalists are fighting for not only their jobs, but for locally-produced news in the heart of the communities they serve. It is crazy to produce a Yorkshire paper more than 200 miles away in another country. If you care about local news, then support our NUJ members and tell the editors and managers to save local jobs."
John McDonnell MP, secretary of the NUJ Parliamentary Group, said:
"The great strength of local newspapers is that the reporters, subs, and editors who put them together are rooted in their communities. The idea that they can be put together remotely from another country without this impacting on the quality of the product is absurd. The Newsquest staff who have been forced to take this action in defence of local journalism deserve our full support and solidarity."
That this House deeply regrets that Newsquest Media Group intends to transfer the design and sub-editing for the Northern Echo (Darlington), Telegraph and Argus (Bradford) and the Press (York) to Newport, Wales; notes that the US-based owner Gannett paid £922 million for Newsquest in 1999, taking on the company's debt, leading to cutbacks and lack of investment in the local newspaper titles; further notes that the current plans represent de-skilling of the workforce and entail serious risks in the reduction of quality due to the loss of local knowledge and the vital connection with the local community; resolves to support members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) taking action to defend local journalism; and calls on the Government to convene urgent discussions with the NUJ and publishers to discuss how to encourage investment, decent pay and conditions essential for a thriving local press and also to develop an effective strategy for protecting local jobs and quality journalism.