Socialist Worker

Express Newspapers journalists to walk out over below-inflation pay deal

Issue No. 2095

Members of the NUJ journalists’ union at Express Newspapers are set to strike on the next three Fridays in their battle over pay.

Journalists working in London on the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday will take action.

A large meeting of NUJ members took the decision to strike on Wednesday of last week following a ballot.

Management wants to give workers a below-inflation pay deal of 3 percent and has refused to engage in meaningful negotiations with the union.

Workers at the company’s printers recently won a 4.3 percent pay deal as part of a three-year deal linked to inflation.

Journalists at Express Newspapers are concerned about the continued interference of owner Richard Desmond in the editorial decision-making on the newspapers.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ rep at the Express and the union’s president, said, “It’s infuriating for our members that the company won’t take on board their concerns.

“Management’s decision to impose a below-inflation pay offer is particularly incomprehensible given that the papers’ proprietor pocketed over £40 million in 2006 alone.

“We want the editors to be left to edit, free from commercial interference that puts opportunities to boost circulation ahead of journalistic integrity.

“Our titles need real investment. Instead we face continuous rounds of budget cuts and inadequate staffing levels.

“Now we’re being told to take a below inflation pay offer and be grateful we’re not facing more redundancies this year – we’ve simply had enough.”

Journalists at the newspapers have also challenged management’s right wing editorial line. Daily Star journalists forced management to withdraw a spoof “Daily Fatwa” page in 2006.

The NUJ last year forced management to abandon plans to make 60 compulsory redundancies, pool desks across titles and outsource editorial departments, including the

city and travel desks, after a number of disruptive chapel (workplace union branch) meetings.

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Tue 1 Apr 2008, 19:27 BST
Issue No. 2095
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