Tyne for action...

23 August 2002

Strike ends

The strike by journalists at the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal was called off after four days with the union branch still united - even though management hadn't improved the final offer made at the government conciliation service ACAS just before the walk out. Basic pay rises are just 2 percent but trainee rates will rise by between five and ten percent, and minimum rates for most senior jobs rise by 2.8 percent. The deal is backdated to March.

Management have acknowledged in writing the journalists' concerns over wages and pledged to address the issue in the next pay talks which have been brought forward to October.

05 August 2002

National Union of Journalists members at the Trinity Mirror-owned Newcastle Chronicle and Journal are stepping up their action over low pay with a two-day strike planned for Friday and Saturday this week.

Visitors to the picket line are always welcome but we are making a special plea for unions and labour movement organisations to take their banners to support the strike at 12 noon on Saturday August 10, at the Groat Market in Newcastle-on-Tyne city centre.

The action is biting hard at the Sunday Sun which was due to be relaunched on Sunday. Management has decided to cut 16 pages from the planned size of the paper.

More than 100 NUJ members have already taken part in two days of solid strike action.

26 July 2002

More than 100 National Union of Journalists members took strike action yesterday (25/07/2002) at the Trinity Mirror-owned Newcastle Chronicle and Journal series as part of their fight for a fair wage. They will walk out again next Thursday, 1 August.

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 with the chapel: if you have trouble contacting them, contact the Freelance.

Please take a minute to show your support by emailing Piers Morgan, editor of their sister paper the socially conscious Daily Mirror, to ask him to cover the story. He's at p.morgan@mirror.co.uk

Under the latest proposals graduate trainees in Newcastle will start on £12,250 per year - compared to a reported (in the Daily Mirror) average graduate starting salary of £19,000.

The minimum rate for journalists with all their professional qualifications, working on some of the UK's most prestigious regional titles is £17,500 - less than £10 a week more than a McDonalds trainee manager on their first day. The basic pay offer is just 2 percent.

Chronicle and Journal boss Steve Brown told a union meeting that Trinity Mirror's profit margin - 25 percent of turnover - is not high enough. Mr Brown has 116,738 Trinity Mirror share options.

For the last year when accounts are available the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal made an operating profit of £13.2 million on a turnover of £52 million.

Supporters are asked to visit the picket line on August 1 between 6am and 7pm at the Groat Market, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Bring your banners.

The strikers will need money. Please urge your union branch to hold a meeting and send a donation. You could organise a whip round in the workplace. Please make donations payable to Newcastle NUJ Branch and send them to:

11, Trinity Courtyard
Newcastle, NE6 1TS

Individual donations are welcome.

Messages of support have been a huge morale booster. Please take a few seconds to email your support to the chapel on geomacstg@onyxnet.co.uk. Read the messages that have been sent so far here.

Feel free to send these details on to friends in the NUJ and wider labour movement.

Thanks to everyone who has helped.

For updated information see www.nuj.org.uk and www.ifj.org.

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