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Newsquest NUJ

Journalists at Newsquest South East Essex to take strike action over pay freeze


By The Drum Team, Editorial

January 27, 2012 | 2 min read

Strike action is to be taken by NUJ members at Newsquest South East Essex at the end of January over a planned pay freeze.

According to the NUJ, members of the chapel voted 90.5% in favour of strike action, while 95.2% voted in favour of taking action short of a strike, after Newsquest implemented another pay freeze.

Action will consist of two-weeks work to rule, beginning on Monday 30 January. Three days of strike action will then begin on Monday 13 February as a result of expected pay rises not being handed out in January, while reviews in June offered no guarantees by the publisher.

The NUJ says that this is the third year in four that Newsquest has not increased the salaries of its journalists.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ, said: "Newsquest endlessly attack journalists jobs, pay, terms and conditions. Our members are facing a real-term pay cut and declining living standards.

"It is the price paid by media workers who produce Newsquest and Gannett profits. The company time and again fails to recognise hard-working staff are the business' best assets."

Sally King, Mother of the Newsquest South Essex chapel added: "No one wants to take this action. It is a reflection of the deep disappointment and genuine concern about their ability to pay bills that members feel, that they voted this way.

"By freezing pay - and even when a rise is offered keeping it well below inflation - it seems members of staff are being penalised for their loyalty.

"The chapel is also disappointed to hear management has told non-unionised members of editorial team at the Echo and its sister papers, the Colchester Gazette, Thurrock Gazette and Chelmsford and Brentwood Weekly News, that they will be awarded overtime payments for working 10-hour shifts during the strike action."

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