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Strike action due to begin today

National Union of Journalists members at Newsquest’s Bolton and Bury titles were today due to begin strike action in a dispute over pay.

Members at the Bolton Evening News, Bolton Journal, Bury Times, Bury Journal, Leigh Journal, Prestwich & Whitefield Guide and the Radcliffe Times were due to stay away from their desks in the first of two planned two-day stoppages. Despite the walk out, both sides have agreed to continue talks.

Union members are also planning to walk out on April 16 and 17 unless an agreement can be reached.

Newsquest management has offered two per cent, the union chapel wants seven per cent.

The company says 57 editorial NUJ members were balloted with 47 papers returned, 31 people voting in favour of strike action.

Other journalists, who are not members of the NUJ, would continue to work and the newspapers would be published and printed as normal.

Newsquest Bolton managing director Eric Henshaw: “We are disappointed that NUJ members have voted to take strike action.

“We strongly feel that this course of action is not the best way to get any of these issues resolved.”

The company had also made a number of attempts to identify issues which may help to resolve the matter, taking into account the uncertainty of the local regional and national trading conditions, he said.

The union says that at Bolton and Bury trainee journalists start on £10,800 and that evening paper journalists with all their professional qualifications start on £15,390 – and they believe that is not enough.

  • Meanwhile, at Newsquest (Bradford), 12 new days for strike action have been named. Members plan to strike from Wednesday, April 16 until Sunday, April 27, unless an agreement is reached.

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