Industrial action against 18 redundancies proposed by management at the Yorkshire Post and the Yorkshire Evening Post came to a close on Wednesday of last week as the ballot for action expired.
The end of this phase of the struggle was marked with a rally at the front of the building, with strikers, trade unionists and local supporters of the campaign.
The rally was also a thank you to all the people who had supported the campaign, which included 13 days of strike action and two days of action short of a strike.
Pete Lazenby, joint father of the NUJ chapel at the papers told Socialist Worker, “The solidarity we received was overwhelming. Trade union branches from across the country supported us with messages and collections to donate to the strike fund.
“Ordinary people raised £18,000. This is a phenomenal amount. But it’s not just the money, it’s knowing we have that level of support from strangers and locals alike.
“We’ve learnt lots of lessons and this is not the end of the struggle. We’re holding negotiations to save the last 14 jobs that are under attack.”
Three jobs have been saved through redeployment and two workers will be leaving for health reasons.
Pete said, “This isn’t the end of management’s attacks. We need to launch national activity against strike breaking by the Press Association. Management pay them to make up pages electronically and fill them with stories. We also need to fight against the anti union laws.
“These laws allow secondary action from the bosses but workers face prosecution. It’s scandalous that after 12 years of a Labour government these laws haven’t been abolished.”
The strength of the strike was reflected from the start. The ballot saw 97 percent vote in favour of action.
Pete continued, “The level of commitment to saving jobs has been astounding. The whole experience has been very moving – seeing young workers take the reins. This shows there is a new generation of union activists coming through.”