Socialist Worker

South Yorkshire journalists on indefinite strike

by Julia Armstrong, chair, South Yorks NUJ
Issue No. 2261

A large and lively picket kicked off an indefinite strike by journalists at South Yorkshire Newspapers, who are fighting job cuts and office closures.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), who work for Johnston Press-owned regional newspaper titles in Doncaster, Mexborough, Goole and Selby, set up their main picket line outside the Doncaster office. The other offices were also picketed.

Two strikers wielding “honk to support us” placards were getting a big response from passing motorists.

Early visitors to the picket line included a delegation from Unison at Doncaster council, who have just held their own strike over cuts.

BBC workers at Radio Sheffield, who were on their own picket line as part of the national day of action, sent solidarity wishes and did a collection.

South Yorkshire Times editor Jim Oldfield, an NUJ member whose own job is under threat, published a story about the strike on the newspaper’s front page.

It’s the second time he has done so, facing down opposition from executives.

Speaking at a union meeting in London on the Murdoch scandal, the former national newspaper journalist revealed he is paid just £25,500 despite having worked 37 years in the industry.

He said other workers at the title, whose staff is being cut from six to three, earn between £14,000 and £24,000.

The chapel [workplace union branch] voted unanimously for strikes last week on a 90 percent turnout after the company announced 18 job losses in editorial, advertising and reception.

Send messages of support to [email protected] and donations to account name DFP NUJ Chapel, no: 35630388, sort code: 60-06-39

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Article information

Tue 19 Jul 2011, 17:25 BST
Issue No. 2261
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