'IT'S BEEN fantastic,' was how one of the striking journalists in the Guardian Media Group in Manchester summed up the start of a round of strikes over pay last week. Some 27 journalists who work on weekly papers across north Manchester and Salford were on strike again on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
'Because the dispute is led by junior reporters, the management thought that they were dealing with a bunch of kids. They've had a shock,' said one of the strikers. The workers also held a two-day strike last week following a 100 percent vote for a strike.
The NUJ members are demanding a pay rise of 7.5 percent, as many reporters start on less than £10,500. Their employers offered a pathetic 2.5 percent. The company has derecognised the union by refusing to negotiate. This has shocked other union members at the Guardian group.
Helen Oldfield, head of the NUJ chapel (workplace branch) at the Guardian in London, joined the strikers on the picket lines, saying, 'We are all outraged that the Guardian group should derecognise a chapel. This goes against everything we stand for.' The strikers are due to be out for seven days from Tuesday of next week.
Send messages of support to email@example.com. Donations made out to 'GMWN NUJ Fund' should be sent c/o NUJ, 22 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JQ.
Rebuild the unions a meeting for all print and media workers, Tuesday 30 April, 6.30pm, Docklands Sailing Centre, West Ferry Road, London. Speakers include Tony Dubbins (GPMU) and Jeremy Dear (NUJ).