STRIKES OVER low pay by journalists on the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian have started to bite. Members of the journalists' NUJ union extended their action-which is now in its fifth week-after two earlier five-day strikes failed to get management talking. New talks with the Johnson Press owned group began as Socialist Worker went to press.
'The strikes are hitting them now,' said mother of chapel Suzanne Roberts. 'The messages of support and donations have been tremendous. We have been getting a very warm response on the picket line, which we have maintained every day.'
Solidarity needs to be stepped up against Johnson Press, the fourth biggest newspaper group in Britain. Plans are being drawn up to organise a protest outside the company's Stamford headquarters. The group made profits of £89.5 million last year-up 6.6 percent on the record figure for 2000.
The Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian chapel started their strikes after rejecting a 2.5 percent offer. But a sign that Johnson's are cracking came when the company agreed to pay the rise to the rest of its Derwent Valley Group in a clear attempt to head off further action.
Send donations and messages of support to Spalding NUJ Chapel, Bieber House, Wilsthorpe, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 4PE. E-mail messages of support to the union rep, Suzanne Robertsfirstname.lastname@example.org
ANOTHER GROUP of journalists is balloting for strike action over pay. Magazine journalists at Emap in Camden, north London, voted last week to go ahead with a ballot on industrial action over their pay claim. The 70 journalists have not received a pay rise for several years, and have seen a gradual erosion of pay and conditions.
The NuJ at Emap has fought a four-year campaign for recognition which was victorious in April. Now journalists want to make up for lost time, and they unanimously rejected management's derisory 'final' offer.
NUJ member, Emap