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Talks urged as strikes continue at Newsquest centres

7 January 2011

Newsquest journalists in Southampton, Brighton and Darlington are continuing their strike action today (Friday) over pay and compulsory redundancies at the troubled multinational group.

Southampton journalists launched a three-day strike against their Newsquest bosses on Wednesday. Their colleagues in Brighton and Darlington have been picketing since yesterday.

Messages of support to the strikers have been coming in from journalists across the union since the strikes began. Many are listed on the Darlington NUJ blog.

NUJ strikers led a march through Darlington, which supported by the local Trades Council. They chanted: "No ifs, no buts, no Northern Echo cuts!" – reflecting the fight against redundancies that is a major element of the Newsquest dispute.

Chris Morley, NUJ organiser, said:

"The spirit on the picket line has been magnificent. The determination of our members to protect jobs and be properly treated by their employer is really inspiring. They've got wholehearted support from the readers and communities they serve."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ deputy general secretary, said:

"Our dispute with Newsquest is a raw wound which has been undermining local journalism in many parts of the UK for several years.
"The group has been producing profits for its American parent company and fat salaries for directors while professional journalists endure poor treatment and amongst the worst wages in the media industry.
"We've sought to resolve our dispute with Newsquest through the conciliation service ACAS, but chief executive Paul Davidson has rebuffed this effort.
"However, Newsquest does say it has no objection to its local journalism centres using the services of ACAS to seek a negotiated settlement.
"So, the NUJ's challenge to Newsquest is clear: let's get round the table and start having some serious talks now. We're ready to talk – what's Newsquest waiting for?"

Tags: , newspapers, southampton, brighton, darlington, pay, strike, newsquest, local newspapers, redundancies, acas