NUJ Newsquest

Newsquest staff picket outside the Northwich Guardian, one of five titles in the North West affected by the strike

Credit: NUJ

Journalists at five Newsquest titles in the North West have begun strike action today (14 September) over five planned compulsory redundancies in the region.

The strike, which received unanimous backing at an NUJ chapel meeting last night, will be followed by a work to rule from tomorrow and another possible strike on Tuesday 20 September if the dispute is not resolved.

The union is calling for Newsquest to suspend plans for seven redundancies announced by the company last month – of which five will be compulsory – and has said it will call off next week's strike if the company enters into "constructive talks".

The union has said however that it anticipates the redundancies could be finalised by the end of the week.

There are more than 40 union members involved in the dispute, which affects staff at the Warrington Guardian, Northwich Guardian, Sale and Altrincham Messenger, St Helens Star and the Wirral Globe.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: "Company intransigence has left members with no other option than to strike and Newsquest management need to acknowledge the strength of feeling amongst staff and urgently get round the table and talk to the union."

Lawrence Shaw, NUJ assistant organiser for the region, said the publisher had left staff with "no choice but to push ahead with industrial action before any cuts are made".

"Newsquest Cheshire and Merseyside made £7 million pounds of profit last year so they have the money available to invest in quality journalism. They should not be sacrificing workers livelihoods and jobs."

Nicola Priest, group editor for the newspapers affected by the strike, said today: "It's
disappointing that the chapel has decided to go on strike before the end of the consultation period and when meaningful dialogue has been ongoing."

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