Socialist Worker

South Yorkshire Newspapers journalists' anger at cuts and low pay

Issue No. 2009

An overwhelming 86 percent of National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members at Doncaster-based South Yorkshire Newspapers have voted to strike.

This follows nine months of futile pay talks.

Staff are deeply worried about financial cuts which have not only kept salaries low, but have reduced staffing levels to an extent where it is almost impossible to provide a professional news service.

Journalists and photographers at the Johnston Press owned company were set to strike on Wednesday of this week and again on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

NUJ mother of chapel (shop steward) Emma Roots said, “It is not widely known that journalism is blighted by poor pay.

“Some of our members earn as little as £11,400 a year.

“If you count the hours of unpaid overtime they put in, this is barely the minimum wage.

“We also have deep concerns about increasing workloads and falling staff numbers which are taking their toll on people’s health.

“The company continually pleads poverty while siphoning off profits made in South Yorkshire and the surrounding areas to line the pockets of its directors in Scotland.

“Last year alone Johnston Press made a record operating profit of £178 million.

“We have been offered a rise of 2.75 percent, but salaries have declined so much in real terms over the past decade that is why we are now looking for more than just a cost of living increase.”

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Article information

Sat 15 Jul 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2009
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