The strikes are due to happen on 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30 April
and 1 May.
There will be picket lines outside the offices of the Rochdale Observer,
Asian News, Middleton Guardian, Heywood Advertiser, Rossendale Free Press,
Accrington Observer, Oldham Advertiser, and Salford Advertiser.
Please join the picket line and bring your banners.
The chapel would obviously appreciate it if any freelances asked to
cover at these titles were unavailable. Any freelances who suffer hardship
while being unavailable should get
in touch and we'll see what can be done.
D'you want fries with that story?
On the current pay scales trainee journalists at the company start on as
little as £10,486 per annum. The maximum anyone below the rank of deputy
editor can earn is £17,692.
GMWN is owned by the Guardian Media Group.
According to research published in the Guardian in June 2001,
the average starting salary for graduates in the traditionally low paid
retail and catering sectors is £17,000. This is the wage paid to
highly experienced journalists who have degrees and professional
qualifications. The chapel asked for a 7.5 percent rise to help catch
up with other industries. The last management offer was 2.5 percent.
In the year to 1 April 2001 Greater Manchester Newspapers - the division
of the Guardian Media Group involved - made an after-tax profit of
In a secret ballot 100 percent of NUJ members who took part voted for a
strike over low pay. On the day the result was declared the management of
Greater Manchester Weekly Newspapers (North) announced that they were
de-recognising the NUJ - refusing to negotiate on pay and conditions.
It is the first time Guardian Media has ever de-recognised an NUJ chapel.
The firm's flagship papers - the Guardian and
Observer - regularly criticise bullying employers. The
papers are read by thousands of trade union members.
Guardian Media is owned by the Scott Trust. The chair of the trust is
Guardian writer Hugo Young. Please support the Greater Manchester Weekly
Newspapers workers by emailing him at
email@example.com or faxing
him on 0207 837 4530.
See the model letter - download it and edit into your own (polite)
When and how you can help
Whether or not you can join the picket lines (as above), send your
messages of support can be sent to the chapel (workplace branch) at
They can be a huge morale boost. Contact anyone you know who you think
the Chapel would be pleased to hear from and encourage them to send
a message of support, too.
The chapel needs money. Please urge your branch or chapel to hold a
meeting and agree to make a donation to the strike fund. Organise a
whip-round in the office or among branch members. You don't need to be
a chapel or branch official to start a collection. Just do it.
Cheques should be made payable to "GMWN NUJ
Fund" and sent to:
GMWN Fund, c/o NUJ
22 Swan Street
Manchester, M4 5JQ
Individual donations are also welcome, however small.