AddThis SmartLayers

MD's disappointment at "unreasonable" union stance

Bosses at Newsquest Bradford have reacted with “disappointment” at a decision by National Union of Journalists members to launch a series of two-day strikes in support of a pay claim.

The NUJ wants a £2,000-a-head rise across the newsroom and has voted to take strike action starting at the end of this month.

It comes a year after a negotiated settlement brought a £500 pay rise for all following a half-day strike last January.

A company statement said that 42 journalists – less than half of the total employed there – voted in favour of action, which will affect offices in Bradford, Shipley, Otley, Keighley, Skipton, and Ilkley.

It said the union chapel was also demanding extra holidays, a 35-hour working week, extra pay bandings and higher mileage rates.

Managing director David Coates said: “In a year when we have seen both revenues and profits fall dramatically, we are deeply disappointed by this action.

“We have gone to a great deal of trouble to explain the company’s financial situation to staff and all our journalists are fully aware that the local economy is struggling.

“We have made every effort to move towards meeting the chapel’s demands but they have refused to modify their own claim in any way and, in fact, have added further demands at a late stage.

“If they are willing to reconsider their unreasonable stance we will be more than happy to continue talks.”

The union believes that Newsquest Bradford – which has offered a two per cent pay increase – can find the extra cash. It has told members the company makes £23,000 a day from which it calculates annual profit for last year at £8.4m.

Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk