Socialist Worker

Lessons from NUJ Coventry strike

Issue No. 1965

Journalists at Coventry Newspapers suspended their all-out strike against low pay on Wednesday of last week. The NUJ union members returned to work after management agreed a statement with the union.

The strike affected the Coventry Evening Telegraph, the Coventry Citizen, the Nuneaton Tribune, the Bedworth Echo and the Hinkley Times. The huge Trinity Mirror company owns the titles.

Barbara Goulden, NUJ mother of the chapel (branch secretary) at Coventry Newspapers, told Socialist Worker, “The company printed a statement that recognised for the first time that low pay was an issue.

“We are now drawing up our pay claim for next year. We have had a very polite strike which has meant that the company has been able to get the paper out. We are a very young chapel, new to taking action, and we had one and two day strikes at first before we escalated to all-out.

“This meant they were able to hold stories and use them to fill the paper. We took 25 days action in nine weeks. It began to bite, but the company was determined not to give in.

“It was fearful that the action might have a domino effect across Trinity Mirror.”

James McCarthy, the treasurer of the chapel, said, “People felt that we did get somewhere.

“If we feel management isn’t sticking to its promises members will feel strongly that we can take more action.”

Workers at Trinity Mirror papers in Liverpool, Newcastle, Cardiff and across Scotland protested last week against the company’s decision to close its final salary scheme to new employees.

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Sat 27 Aug 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1965
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