Socialist Worker

Journalists: overworked, underpaid and fighting back

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2249

Journalists on the picket line last week (Pic: http://www.guysmallman.com/Guy Smallman )

Journalists on the picket line last week (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Striking journalists at the North London & Herts Newspapers took their message to the streets in their first week of action, which began on Tuesday of last week.

The nine workers’ two-week strike is against the company’s policy of non-replacement of staff.

The NUJ union members want to secure one extra reporter.

The strikers and their supporters met on the picket line on Wednesday and marched to Enfield town centre.

They organised the protest as a mock funeral for their “dearly beloved” newspapers.

Father of the chapel Jonathan Lovett donned a priest’s outfit while others dressed as mourners and carried a coffin.

Jonathan told the 40-strong crowd, “I believe in hope, and resurrection, and that Sir Tindle need only give the word and these newspapers will be raised from the dead.”

The paper’s owner, Sir Ray Tindle, has a personal fortune of £149 million.

And the parent company Tindle Press Holdings made £8.6 million profits in 2009.

But Tindle refuses to treat the workers with dignity. Instead they were threatened with redundancies on the morning of the first day of strikes.

The journalists are over-worked. The editor described how they “don’t have time to piss” because production of the papers is so fraught.

Pressure

Kim, a reporter and news editor on the paper, told Socialist Worker, “All we want is an extra reporter on a fixed term contract to help take the pressure off.

“We’re so over-stretched we don’t have time to report on all the local campaigns and council meetings that people expect of us.

“If this goes on people will be off with stress—and the company won’t replace them. As long as they’re making money they don’t care about staff provision.”

Anti-cuts campaigners joined the march, as did councillors and readers of the newspapers.

The strikers went to the offices of the South London Press, where they believe their work has been outsourced, last Thursday.

The strikers and their supporters, including NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear, sang songs of protest and leafleted the workers and passers-by.

Email messages of support to strikegazadpres@hotmail.co.uk and organise a collection in your workplace. Follow the strike on Twitter at www.twitter.com/StrikeGazAdPres


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Article information

News
Tue 26 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2249
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