Oh we do like to strike beside the seaside...
National Union of Journalists members at the Blackpool Evening Gazette, Fleetwood Weekly News, and Lytham St Anne's Express are taking strike action tomorrow (June 11)over pay.
They are objecting to a new pay structure which would leave fully qualified senior journalists on the weekly papers on just over £16,000 - compared to a UK national average wage of nearly £26,000.
Seniors on the daily paper earn just £17,600 per annum. In 2002 the Blackpool papers made a profit of £2.9 million - a rise of 28 percent on 2001. It is a profit of £15,000 per employee.
Trainee journalists start on as little as £11,000
Their parent company - Johnston Press - made record profits of £128 million in 2003.
The journalists will be picketing their offices in Blackpool, Fleetwood, and Lytham St Annes.
They have named Tuesday June 22 as their second day for strike action.
As always, if freelances are asked to cover, the chapel would appreciate it if
they found themselves to be unavailable. Freelance members who suffer hardship
while being unavailable should contact the Chapel c/o the Regional Organiser.
Please do something now...
Send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org - a simple good luck message will do, and the bosses will know the strikers are not alone. Please have a whip round and send strike fund donations made out to:
NUJ Blackpool Gazette Chapel Branch
c/o NUJ Manchester, Arthur House
Chorlton Street, Manchester, M1 3FH