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Celebration event targeted by union's low pay campaign

Protestors from the National Union of Journalists staged a demo outside an event organised to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Eddie Shah’s Messenger group.

Eddie Shah, a union-busting employer, sacked NUJ and print union members in 1983 during a dispute that ended in violence outside his Warrington print plant.

The company is now run by Newsquest, which is itself the target of a nationwide low-pay campaign by the union.

Two weeks ago the union formed a new chapel at Newsquest’s Warrington group which includes the Messenger titles.

It is the first time the union has been organised at the old Shah papers since the 1983 dispute.

Northern organiser Miles Barter, who as a schoolboy delivered the Sale and Altrincham Messenger, was one of the protestors at Saturday’s event at Lancashire County Cricket Club.

He said: “Eddie Shah is long gone – showing that his only interest was making money.

“NUJ members continue to serve the communities of South Manchester with news and information. It is time they shared in the profits. We were very well received by the Newsquest workers arriving for the event.”

A letter handed out by the union to visitors at the event told them about the NUJ’s current wage campaign at Newsquest, and added: “Six printers were sacked and nine journalists lost their jobs for supporting the 1983 dispute.

“New laws brought in by the Tory Government were used to bring the unions to their knees financially.

“Riot police brutally attacked demonstrators outside the Messenger group’s printing plant in Warrington.”

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