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Industrial action ends to make way for talks

Industrial action in protest over workloads and staffing levels has come to an end at Sheffield Newspapers.

For the past two weeks National Union of Journalists members at the Sheffield Star and Sheffield Telegraph have been working to rule with timed breaks and no unpaid overtime after claiming they were under pressure because of staff shortages.

They claimed 12 editorial posts were vacant and voted to hold an indefinite protest, taking a screen break together between 10am and 10.10am, a lunch break between 12.30pm and 1.30pm and another screen break between 3pm and 3.10pm every afternoon.

Now chapel members have voted to end the action, after management agreed to discuss the matter at a meeting on September 22, when all those concerned return from holiday.

Management insisted that the industrial action be called off before they agreed to a meeting.

Mother of chapel Julia Armstrong said: “The chapel feels it has made a strong point.

“Three new members of staff have been taken on, but we’re still finding that we are working to maximum capacity and we’d like to discuss the arrangement of our workloads.”

She also said the need for staff to be replaced quickly needed to be addressed, but said the chapel felt the protest had been worthwhile.

She said: “It made us feel that we were in control of our working lives and by taking time out to have a break and talk to colleagues it made a big difference to how we felt about our jobs.”

Sheffield Star editor Alan Powell told HoldtheFrontPage that the company had always been willing to talk, and now that the action had been halted this could go ahead.

He said: “I look forward to constructive discussions.”

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