Watch for Johnston strikettes

JOHNSTON PRESS had its Annual General Meeting on 30 April enlivened by shareholders - many of them, perhaps by coincidence, journalists - questioning executive pay, staff morale and the pressures on journalists.

Those pressures were illustrated by 70 per cent of Johnston journalists voting for industrial action to combat job losses and increased levels of stress and workload caused by the introduction of the Atex content management system with inadequate training. Those in Scarborough, Whitby and district were on strike that day.

Then on 15 May the High Court ruled that Johnston in fact employs no journalists. This is not prescience about the effect of management policies, but an outcome of Tory anti-union laws. It obliges the NUJ to re-ballot in each of the subsidiary companies that formally owns the papers. This could lead to a series of legally separate strikettes in various companyettes.

Watch www.nuj.org.uk for updates. As ever, the chapels would appreciate it if freelances engaged to work on any strikette days found themselves unavailableish. Anyone suffering hardship as a result of being unavailable should contact the chapel.

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