Journalists at Coventry Newspapers have been on indefinite strike since Tuesday of last week. The NUJ union members have pledged to stay out for as long as it takes to win their battle over low pay.
They had already taken a number of days of strike action affecting the Trinity Mirror owned titles Coventry Evening Telegraph, Coventry Citizen, Nuneaton Tribune, Bedworth Echo and Hinkley Times.
Lucy Lynch, secretary of the Coventry Newspapers NUJ chapel (union branch), told Socialist Worker, “Members feel angry about the low pay we suffer.
“A reporter at Coventry Newspapers could start on as little as £11,500. Senior reporters are paid £18,800.
“This is too little. We believe that this level of pay lowers morale and increases staff turnover.
“It leads to experienced workers with extensive local knowledge and contacts moving away or into other jobs.
“Few of us can afford the luxury of a permanent career in journalism. As there are always young people looking for a start in the profession, our bosses can keep us on a low wage.
“We are staying out for as long as it takes. We have a rally in Coventry city centre on Friday of this week which we are asking supporters to attend.”
James McCarthy, treasurer of the chapel, said, “We decided to go on all-out strike because there has been no movement from management.
“Members voted to go all-out as it was the only option left open to them.
“We feel we are undervalued and not treated with the respect we deserve. Management’s attitude is appalling.
“We are expected to work all hours of the day and night without proper recompense.
“We only want an increase of £800 a year to put us on a par with journalists in Birmingham. It’s not as if Trinity Mirror can’t afford this. It made over £250 million in profits last year.
“We are getting lots of support from the public and cheques coming in from supporters. People are constantly surprised by how low paid we are.
“Morale on the picket line is very high. We are staying out until further notice.”
Send donations made payable to “Coventry branch National Union of Journalists” to 4 Ribble Road, Coventry CV3 1AU. Send text messages of support to 07888 753 710. Rally, 1pm, Friday 12 August, Belgrade Square, Coventry city centre.