Journalists working on local newspapers in south London began the first day of a ten day strike today, Thursday.
The NUJ union members at Newsquest newspapers are fighting a “restructure” that would slash jobs across a range of publications.
Bosses also want to merge editorial departments in south east and south west London, forcing journalists in the south east to work remotely.
The workers are demanding no compulsory redundancies and that all journalists are paid at least the London Living Wage. And they want a guarantee this restructure will not lead to further ones and redundancies down the line.
They’re also fighting bosses’ plans to move journalists away from the areas that they cover.
Strikers held a large picket line outside the Newsquest offices in Sutton, south London, this morning.
And the strength of the strike has already forced bosses to make concessions.
Father of the Chapel (branch secretary) Andrew told Socialist Worker, "local management are people who you can do business with but the company has a Rottweiler attitude to its staff."
“In 2006 we had probably 80 or 90 reporters and an office in Richmond. Now it’s about 35.
“And we’ve not had any increase or pay rise since 2008”.
He added, “We got 100 percent in the ballot to strike – it’s a massive vote.
“And we’ve already had some concessions. Management agreed yesterday to pay the London Living Wage to all trainee reporters”.
The strike is set to end on Wednesday 1 July – a total of ten strike days, not including weekends.
Strikers plan to picket the Newsquest office in Sutton from 8am every morning.
For details on how to donate to the strike fund email [email protected]