Lancs strike over - except for freelances

THE STRIKE at Newsquest titles in Lancashire ended on 23 May. But after that all the freelance photographers who supported the strike by "being unavailable" found that work for the papers was mysteriously "unavailable".

17 September 2003

The Chapel has made hardship payments to the photographers. Today Freelance Industrial Council strongly recommended that the Union formally declares the member who has lost most of his work "victimised" my management and to offer the financial support that the Union's rules mandate for members in that position. That's even though we were told that he didn't want the money - it's the principle.

They believe they have blacklisted by Steve Hughes, Editor in Chief at Bolton and that the picture editor has been instructed not to use any of the regular freelances. All, NUJ and non-union, supported the strike. The photographers says this "seems to be as an act of sheer spite and spleen". Meanwhile, management tells the Chapel that what's happening is merely "cost-cutting". And that it's "none of Chapel's concern". Which is odd, because they are entitled to be Chapel members. The Chapel has asked Freelance Organiser John Toner and General Secretary Jeremy Dear to intervene.

The photographers ask for your support: if asked to work for Newsquest Bolton and Bury, they'd be very pleased if you were "unavailable" until this is resolved.

Meanwhile journalists at the South London Newsquest News Shopper group won 6 per cent after voting to strike but before doing so.

Watch for news of further strike action at Newsquest Bradford - and at Macmillan in Oxford, where there was a one-day strike on 25 June.

[Site map] Last modified: 17 September 2003 - © 2003 contributors
The Freelance editor is elected by London Freelance Branch and responsibility for content lies solely with the editor of the time
Send comments to the editor: