NUJ members at Reach to strike over pay dispute
Staff have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action and action short of a strike.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) balloted a total of 1093 members at publisher Reach plc. A turnout of 70 per cent was achieved, as 749 members out of 1069 in the UK returned their ballot papers. 79 per cent voted in favour of strike action, and 88 per cent in favour of action short of a strike. The ballot closed at noon on 12 August 2022.
NUJ members across Reach titles include those at the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Manchester Evening News. Today’s ballot results demonstrate a commitment from members to fight for a decent and fair pay increase, supported by the full backing of the union.
The NUJ is urging a return to negotiations by Reach senior management, with a fair and increased final offer that can be put to members.
Chris Morley, NUJ Reach national coordinator, said:
“Our members have delivered a powerful message to Reach chiefs with the results today of this landmark ballot.
“It is unprecedented in the company’s history that more than 1,000 of its journalists have been mandated to take strike action and other industrial action. The fact that such a strong outcome has been achieved in the face of significant postal issues and in the peak holiday season should tell the company how determined our members are to achieve a better deal on their pay.
“We have given the company immediate formal notice of two rounds of strike action in the coming weeks because our members feel this situation cannot be allowed to drag on as they contend with the ravages of an unprecedented inflationary surge.
“With this result, our members are clearly saying that the company – which gave its top two executives pay packages worth more than £7m – can, and must, do much better than a meagre 3%/£750 minimum increase on already inadequate pay.
“We very much hope that the company has the good grace and humility to recognise it made a mistake in making this poor offer against the backdrop of this cost-of-living turmoil. And rather than trigger the planned damaging walkouts by doing nothing, senior management are urged to now come forward with meaningful proposals to resolve the dispute.
“The NUJ is ready and willing to achieve a negotiated settlement. But for that to happen, the company will need to understand that our members are prepared to stand up and be counted and are not willing to merely accept the crumbs off the millionaires’ table.
“Our members earn very modest pay for the vital - but stressful - part they play in keeping the public informed around the clock. They know that a company that can make a £14m half-year dividend payment to shareholders next month can do more to make its journalists’ salaries more competitive.”
- From 00:01 hours on 26 August 2022 until 23:59 hours on 26 August 2022
- Strike action from 00:01 hours on 31 August 2022 until 23:59 hours on 31 August 2022
- Strike action from 00:01 hours on 14 September 2022 until 23:59 hours on 15 September 2022
Action short of a strike consisting of a work to rule. This action will commence at 00:01 hours on 01 September 2022 and end at23:59 hours on 13 September 2022.Ballot results - trade dispute with Reach group