Argus Strike The Brighton Argus is one of many Newsquest titles across the country undertaking industrial action. Photo: Mousetrap Media
The National Union of Journalists' National Executive Council is to spearhead a national campaign for its members at Newsquest titles, following ongoing action by staff against a pay freeze, the closure of the pension scheme to future accrual and redundancies.

News of the campaign comes as 78 per cent of union members at Newsquest northeast titles - The Darlington and Stockton Times, Durham Times and the Advertiser series - vote for strike action and 85 per cent vote for action short of a strike, in protest against proposed redundancies and the continuing pay freeze.

The union added that its members at Newsquest Hampshire in Andover will also ballot for action and more ballots are planned at other Newsquest owned titles in York, Bradford, Bolton and Blackburn.

"The strong result in favour of action in Darlington coupled with the ballot for action in Hampshire demonstrates the determination of NUJ members at Newsquest to stand together to oppose pay freezes, attacks on pensions and ruinous job cuts," a report by the NUJ says.

"The overwhelming vote by our members at Darlington gives the strongest possible signal to the company that enough is enough and that there is a determined mood to prevent the company committing more vandalism to their great newspapers and associated websites," Chris Morley, the union's Northern and Midlands organiser, adds in the report.
"It is no coincidence that Newsquest is now facing strikes at three major locations with a whole string of NUJ chapels at other centres queueing up to be balloted for strike action."

The NUJ said its National Executive Council will now spearhead a national campaign around the situation at Newsquest.
"NUJ members at Newsquest are standing up for journalists and journalism," the union's deputy general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said in the NUJ report.

"They are fighting the corporate greed which is doing so much damage to their papers and websites and they have the full support of the union."

Yesterday reported that the union's members at the Southern Daily Echo and Brighton Argus had both given notice of their second set of strike dates next week, on 7 and 8 of December. The Argus action is also in response to plans to relocate the title's subbing operations to Southampton.

Newsquest has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).