SOLIDARITY. The dictionary definition is, 'Agreement in aims or interest. Total unity.' If ever there was total unity it was on the picket line of the first day of strike action outside the offices of the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press last Saturday.
We'd just rejected what was, on the face of it, a reasonable offer from our parent company, Welland Valley Newspapers. The proposal meant that juniors and one senior would receive pay rises around 25 percent.
But because there wasn't something in it for everyone, and because the starting salary for non-graduate trainees was still a measly £10,500, union members were unanimous in their opinion. They had to take strike action. And the response was amazing. I lost count of the number of drivers who tooted their horns-the fire brigade came round three times to do just that!.
We paraded through the town centre with our colourful placards and a horn. It's fair to say that Spalding hasn't seen anything like it in many years, certainly not in the 15 years I've been working there.
SUZANNE ROBERTS, Spalding NUJ mother of chapel (workplace branch rep)
JOURNALISTS AT the Independent and Independent on Sunday have voted for what could be the first strike on a national newspaper for 12 years. The members of the NUJ journalists' union voted by 98 to 66 for strikes against a pay freeze.
They have given the papers' owners until 15 June to come up with a decent offer for all staff or they will strike. Journalists at the papers have recently won back union recognition. They are now determined to translate that into winning a decent pay rise.
KAY RICHARDSON, NUJ Independent (workplace union branch)