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Strike called off as pay deal is accepted

A second day of strike action which had been due to hit the Blackpool Gazette and its sister weekly titles today, has been averted.

National Union of Journalists members have agreed to accept a pay deal of a minimum of three per cent.

It was the deal offered by management before strike action earlier this month.

And although the walkout failed to secure extra cash, union members feel they “made their point” and now have a platform to begin negotiations for the 2005 pay award.

The agreement follows a one-day walkout, which saw journalists picketing offices on June 11. They had claimed that the pay offer did not reflect their part in the paper’s success.

The minimum senior rate for journalists on the Gazette will rise to £17,600, with seniors working on its sister titles, the Fleetwood Weekly News and Lytham St Anne’s Express, earning a minimum of £16,000.

Negotiations for an improved pay structure, which would take effect in January, will begin immediately.

NUJ regional organiser Miles Barter said: “The chapel feels that more people went on strike than the newspaper ever expected, and that they have made their point.”

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