5 February 2003
Jaw-jaw & class war
The management at Newsquest Kendal - part of the US media giant
Gannett - increased their pay offer
to 2.5 percent yesterday afternoon. It was originally 1.5 percent. The company
has also agreed to talk about a proper pay banding structure.
National Union of Journalists members at the Westmorland Gazette and
Lancaster Citizen have rejected the new offer but agreed to postpone the
strikes planned for today and tomorrow as a gesture of goodwill.
Walkouts will still happen on 12, 13, 19 and 20 February.
Journalists at Newsquest Bradford - also in the north of England - held
two successful strikes on Thursday and Friday of last week.
More strikes are planned for 10, 11, 19, and 20 February and
an extra day has been added on 21 February. Talks are scheduled
See the Bradford chapel (workplace branch) website at
The companies make enough profit to have paid this year's pay claims in
full by January 10.
They couldn't run a bath...
Newsquest Bradford bosses expressed solidarity with their colleagues in
Kendal by sending the editor of the Craven Herald and the
deputy chief sub of the Bradford Telegraph and Argus across the
Pennines to help break the strike that didn't happen. What a waste of
shareholders' money! We'll have fun in a fortnight when journalists at
both groups strike on the same days.
Westmorland Gazette editor Mike Glover was told yesterday
evening that the strike was off. Unfortunately he forgot to tell his
loyal lieutenants. The poor editor of the Lancaster Citizen
turned up for work this morning at 7am!
Newsquest Bradford bosses have told anyone who will listen that last
week's strike had no effect on production. So presumably Saturday's
Telegraph and Argus intended to carry the same story twice,
along with the picture of children at a Halloween event.
Friday's T&A carried a feature on the Yorkshire Ripper.
See next week's paper to find out whether Mr Chamberlain secured peace in
Newsquest UK's chief executive Paul Davidson visited the Bradford site
today. Did he have the guts to talk to journalists and find out about their
grievances? Of course not. The visit was been kept secret from all but
How you can help...
- Visit the picket lines next Monday and Tuesday in Bradford, Keighley,
Shipley, Ilkley, Otley, and Skipton. And on Wednesday and Thursday in
Kendal, Lancaster, and Ulverston.
- You could send a polite message to Newsquest UK chief executive Paul
Davidson by email to email@example.com
or by faxing to 020 8646 3997. Point out how damaging it
is to the UK economy to send huge profits to the USA while paying low wages here.
- Please send a message of support to Bradford at
and Kendal at
firstname.lastname@example.org - it only takes a few
seconds and makes a huge difference to morale.
- The chapels URGENTLY need money to sustain the dispute. Please ask your
union branch or chapel to send a donation. Why not organise a workplace
collection. You don't have to be a union rep to start it and you could be
pleasantly surprised by how many people donate. Point out that if the
Bradford and Kendal chapels win it will mean that your management has to
take your union more seriously - and just talking to people about the union
strengthens your organisation. Send cheques and postal orders to "NUJ
Manchester" at NUJ, 22, Swan Street, Manchetser, M4 5JQ. We will split the
money between the chapels.
- Ask for a speaker at your next union meeting by hitting reply or using
the email addresses above.
- Send this email on to anyone who might be interested.
Elsewhere on the web...
Visit www.nuj.org.uk or www.ifj.org or www.geocities.com/bradfordnuj