Thursday, March 22, 2012

Newsquest union members prepared to strike

An overwhelming majority of union-represented Newsquest employees favor a strike over the U.K. newspaper division's refusal to give them a pay raise this year, according to Roy Greenslade of The Guardian newspaper.

The workers haven't gotten raises in three of the past four years, Greenslade said today in a post to his blog.

The National Union of Journalists carried out an "indicative ballot," he wrote. "One question asked: 'Would you support your chapel taking strike action in a dispute with management over a refusal by them to make a pay offer for 2012?'"

Greenslade continues: "The response was 82% in favour with 18% against. A second asked: 'Do you have confidence in Gannett . . . as the owner of Newsquest newspaper titles and associated websites in the UK?' The result of that vote was a stunning 95% saying no and just 5% saying yes."

NUJ members have sparred with Newsquest management repeatedly over the years over issues that also include consolidating page production at regional hubs.

Newsquest includes 17 dailies and hundreds of weekly titles. It employed 4,500 workers at the end of last year, about one in seven of Gannett's total 31,000 workers. The division's employment fell 6% from 2010 vs. a 7% decline in the U.S. newspaper division.


  1. Interesting. Reminds me a memo a fews ago announcing the wage freeze was over and thanks for sticking it out, we really appreciate it!

    For all that "sticking it out" and for how much it was "really" appreciated, we still did not get any raises. That's not saying much, because any raise previously was barely cost-of-living if that. I never saw one person get a merit incrase.

    But we still did not get any raise because they knew they were going to lay us all off in another eight months.

    Since that was case, we had no idea why, then, they issued this memo to us three quarters previously.

    But then that would have been the decent, human thing to do: send the memo to those it actually addressed, rather than raise the expectations of a bunch of people who had gone quite some time, in good faith, "sticking it out."

  2. Did our coworkers and friends across the water get any type of "early retirement" offers like we did here in the US?


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.