The prospect of widespread strike action at the Johnston Press newspaper group has receded for the moment. But a group of chapels (workplace branches) in Yorkshire and the North West of England are still looking at coordinated action.
The company owns regional newspapers in England, Scotland, and Ireland. It went to the High Court to gain an injunction to challenge a successful strike ballot by the National Union of Journalists.
The injunction was, incredibly, based on the firm’s claim that no staff actually work for the parent company.
The company has made concessions in some centres over staffing levels and changes to working practices following the disastrous introduction of a new computer system. It has also agreed to lift a freeze on pay later this year.
At other key centres, the introduction of the new system has been delayed.
The situation is frustrating for union activists—the big ballot vote for strikes was a breakthrough and we need to keep up the pressure.
Reps have agreed to back any centre that wants to ballot for action and to call for a union-wide day of action.
A united fight remains the only way to stop attacks on jobs, working conditions and pay, and to defend quality journalism.