Enfiled Advertiser
Journalists at at Sir Ray Tindle’s North London and Herts Newspapers group returned to work yesterday after a two-week strike which won no concessions from the company's management.

Nine journalists – "the Enfield Nine" – went on strike on 19 April over staff shortages at the group's north London titles, which include the Enfield Advertiser and Gazette, the Haringey Advertiser, and the Edgware and Mill Hill Press.

According to features editor and NUJ chapel father Jonathan Lovett, the company's failure to replace journalists who have left has led to three news reporters "churning out nine newspapers every week".

The strike, which the staff described as the first in the company's history, was undertaken with the aim of forcing the recruitment of one more reporter on a fixed-term contract for a year, and a guarantee that any staff member who leaves will be replaced.

But the nine strikers, comprised of reporters, photographers and sub-editors, returned to work yesterday with no concessions from the company.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk this morning, Lovett said that the company had also taken the strikers' bank holiday pay, meaning they had lost a full ten days' wages. According to the NUJ, letters were delivered to the staff the day before the strike began, informing them that they faced redundancy.

Lovett acknowledged that the strike had failed in its concrete aims, but he said that it was a success in other terms.

"It restored massive respect to the staff, and it was a success in personal terms, in restoring dignity and pride and also raising awareness. It seems to have struck a real nerve, not just in our immediate locality but across the country and, in fact, internationally.

"We have had messages of support from as far away as Somalia and Iran. We feel we are spearheading a campaign for local journalism."

Tindle Newspapers issued a statement to Journalism.co.uk today claiming that the strike had not affected the company's editorial output in the area:

"During the strike all the titles produced the same editions by the remaining staff and management, with as much editorial if not more than normal weeks."

According to Lovett, the strikers are pressing for a meeting with management next week, at which they will reiterate their demands.

He stressed that further strikes would take place if the company continued to refuse to bolster the workforce.

"We have to say that, we can't just leave this here. This issue has become bigger than just our area."

No one from Tindle Newspapers was available for comment at the time of writing.

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