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Strike due to hit newspaper offices today

National Union of Journalists members at Newsquest Bradford were today due to take strike action in a protest over pay.

Group offices in Bradford, Keighley, Shipley, Ilkley, Otley and Skipton were due to be picketed as union members stay away from their desks in the first of three planned two-day stoppages.

They are also threatening to walk out on February 10, 11, 19 and 20 – unless management increases its pay offer following a £2,000-a-head bid by the union.

The union chapel are also asking for extra holidays, a 35-hour working week, extra pay bandings and higher mileage rates.

Newsquest (Bradford) has offered a two per cent increase, a rise which the union says would leave most of the journalists earning below the £24,000 average UK wage.

In a statement released ahead of the proposed strike action, Newsquest (Bradford) said talks between the company and members of the NUJ were continuing in an effort to resolve the dispute.

Managing director David Coates said: “All our journalists are fully aware that the local economy is struggling and that both our profits and our revenues have fallen dramatically in the last year.

“It is deeply disappointing that a minority of our journalists should choose to take action which can only damage the company.

“Despite movement on our part the chapel have so far refused to modify their claim in any way and, in fact, have added further demands at a late stage.”

  • Last year a wage settlement was reached with the company after a half-day stoppage with the offer of a £500 across-the-board pay rise.

    The pay deal meant that the minimum wage for juniors was increased by £1,500 to £12,000 and the senior starting rate for weekly journalists rose by £1,000 to £15,000.

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