Socialist Worker

Newsquest journalists 'even more resolved' to carry on fighting

Issue No. 2527

NUJ union leader Michelle Stanistreet (centre) joins Newsquest strikers on the picket line earlier this week

NUJ union leader Michelle Stanistreet (centre) joins Newsquest strikers on the picket line earlier this week (Pic: Unite the Resistance)

Striking journalists at regional newspapers produced by Newsquest South London are battling on in their fight against job cuts.

The NUJ union members are mid-way through a second week-long strike, while other journalist have resigned rather than face bosses’ attacks.

Newsquest bosses want to push through a planned “restructure” that will see 11 jobs scrapped, leaving just 12 reporters producing 11 newspapers and eight websites.

Seven journalists have resigned over the plans, with five leaving last week. This week’s action follows a previous week-long strike earlier this month.

One striker told Socialist Worker that the action was still having an effect, with the quality of newspapers suffering and bosses losing money from advertisers.

“We’re clearly getting somewhere,” he said. “They’re losing advertising revenue hand over fist.

“And the quality has been terrible. A lot of the articles in the papers are just clickbait nonsense that’s been pulled straight from the websites”.

The striker added that the job losses “don’t make it any easier for them upstairs to produce newspapers”.

And he pointed out that a recent edition of Newsquest’s Croydon Guardian, which now has no reporters, carried just four stories about Croydon in 36 pages. The rest of the paper was made up of adverts and “generic copy”.

Articles in other Newsquest papers have been printed under incorrect, irrelevant headlines, or with spelling mistakes.

The NUJ sent out an appeal today, Wednesday, asking supporters in south London to help with leafleting and to join the strikers on the picket line.

It said the resignations had left the picket line smaller, “but even more resolved to carry on the action to fight for more staff”.

The striker added that it had been “a bit difficult” to keep up strike activities. But he said there was still widespread support, and further activities planned.

Strikers plan to visit parliament tomorrow to meet with MPs in the NUJ parliamentary group.

The striker also said there will be a work to rule when the strike ends on Friday and journalists go back to work on Monday. And there could be more strikes if bosses don’t budge.

Strikers are asking for donations to the strike fund. Email noting the amount and send the money to: Account number 20143387 Sort code 608301

Join the picket lines from 9am at The Qudrant, Sutton, SM2 5AS (next to Sutton station)

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