Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post
NUJ journalists’ union members at the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post newspapers in Leeds struck again last week over redundancies.
Their planned action was followed by a day of picketing after management refused to allow the NUJ to hold a mandatory union meeting in the office. The workers held the meeting in front of the building. The numbers joining the picket outside grew to around 70 throughout the day.
Peter Lazenby, joint father of the chapel (union workplace rep), told Socialist Worker, “The level of involvement has been inspiring. People aren’t just standing by – they want to talk about tactics.”
The PCS union has shown great solidarity with the strikers, giving them use of meeting rooms, photocopier and toilet facilities. The union is likely to call further strike dates in the next few days.
The NUJ union has won the battle to represent its members at Messenger Newspapers based in Cheshire.
In the early 1980s the newspaper group was owned by union-buster Eddie Shah.
Colin Bourne, who was the NUJ’s Northern organiser at the time, said this week, “This was the company that spearheaded the tide of anti-unionism and created the conditions for the Miners’ Strike the following year. To win back union rights there is extremely significant.”
Industrial action planned at the Independent newspaper has been suspended.
Bosses at the Independent and Independent on Sunday want to slash 70 jobs, blaming a decline in advertising.
Journalists in the NUJ union voted by 64 percent for strike action and 80 percent for action short of a strike.
But the action was called off after management attempted to intimidate union members and split the workforce by arguing that if the workers went on strike the titles would collapse.
Management has now agreed to talks. The union is fighting to ensure that all redundancies are voluntary.
Management at Shropshire Newspapers backed off from making five compulsory redundancies just 24 hours before workers were due to start industrial action.
The NUJ chapel (workplace union branch) at the title isn’t officially recognised.