Socialist Worker

Action to spread at Newsquest

Issue No. 2232

Strikes are set to spread across regional newspaper company Newsquest after journalists at its titles in Blackburn, Bradford, Bolton and York voted decisively for walkouts.

The National Union of Journalists has already held two two-day strikes at the Daily Echo in Southampton and the Argus in Brighton. And journalists in Darlington were set to strike on Thursday of this week.

At Newsquest Bradford—which includes the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Ilkley Gazette, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, Craven Herald and the Keighley News—the strike vote was over 90 percent.

And the fightback is spreading as union members in Warrington, Wiltshire/Swindon, Cheshire/Merseyside and at the Herald titles in Glasgow begin ballots. Together they cover dozens of local and regional newspapers.

Journalists are angry that super-profitable Newsquest, owned by US multinational Gannett, is pushing through a pay freeze, pension attacks and job cuts in already bare-bones newsrooms.

In Brighton, the journalists have had support from local council workers.

Sue Bowes, city council worker and Unison branch officer, sent a message of support.

“We’re fighting cuts in the public sector and the Argus is fighting cuts in the private sector but the issues are the same—we’re trying to defend the ordinary person while the government supports big business,” she wrote.

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Tue 14 Dec 2010, 17:30 GMT
Issue No. 2232
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