Socialist Worker

Coventry journalists set to ballot for strikes

Issue No. 2071

Some 40 members of the NUJ journalists' union at the Coventry Telegraph are balloting for strike action over inadequate editorial staffing levels.

A packed chapel (workplace union branch) meeting last week voted unanimously for the ballot over non-replacement of leavers or long delays in getting vacancies filled.

This is a long-running dispute. Journalists at Coventry Newspapers struck over low pay in 2005.

A deal brokered by the Acas conciliation organisation was rejected by the chapel.

The number of reporters has dropped steadily over the last two years to stand at just eight in Coventry and three for the districts – the chapel has demanded that this rise to at least 12 and four respectively. There are also concerns at staffing levels on the weeklies.

The NUJ has launched a Stand Up For Journalism campaign, which will see a day of action across the country on Monday 5 November.

Bosses at the Guardian are facing a major dispute. Journalists in the NUJ union voted at a chapel meeting last week to tell management that they were in dispute over attempts to change conditions.

Management is trying to impose a new house agreement as part of the current pay negotiations, which would mean an end to the no compulsory redundancy agreement.

Another chapel meeting will follow shortly. If there is no movement from management, that meeting will vote on whether to hold a strike ballot.

The Guardian's printers in the Unite union are also discussing a pay offer.

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Tue 2 Oct 2007, 19:28 BST
Issue No. 2071
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