AddThis SmartLayers

Newspaper editor fights on after letter to striking binmen reveals home address

Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson has warned he will not be threatened – after his home address was published in a letter to disgruntled binmen.

The story centres on a strike by the binmen and a pay dispute between them and the city council.

One of the refuse collectors wrote to colleagues at depots across the city claiming that Steve was a Tory in cahoots with the coalition city council.

The letter also contained the address of Steve and the Mail’s local government correspondent.

Steve told holdthefrontpage: “I’ve not had problems so far. My rubbish has been collected.

“It’s a bizarre situation. According to the some councillors we’re in cahoots with the strikers and according to some binmen, we’re in cahoots with the council.

“In some ways it’s a bit reassuring as we’re not seen as being in someone’s pocket.

“The worrying thing is when they put people’s addresses out there, hinting at doing something.

“I’ve had armed criminals phone my house but it’s not something you can get worried about.”

Steve defended the Mail’s coverage of the dispute and strike action after they splashed three separate stories.

Firstly, the paper accused the council of messing up the single pay strategy and then it reported on a pub fight involving the binmen the day they were on strike.

The Mail then told readers that the binmen were each offered a £100 bonus for clearing up the rubbish which went uncollected on strike day.

Steve added: “No one can threaten us, absolutely not. It won’t work.

“I’ve covered court cases because people have threatened me not to cover it.

“It must be one of the tenets of good journalism.

“As for printing home addresses, it should worry trade unionists and/or binmen that someone amongst them appears to want to suggest some kind of personal approach or harassment.

“I’m not too worried about this myself, as I’m pretty tall, heavy and can look after myself.

“But because staff addresses are also included in this weak attempt at coercion, whoever it was should know that as a matter of policy the letter is now in the hands of the authorities.

“And, just in case anyone’s wondering, the Birmingham Mail will continue with its balanced coverage on this dispute. Nothing will change that.

“The council will be praised or criticised when necessary and so will binmen or other workers.”


Hilary Jones (19/02/2008 12:25:19)
Cahoots, not cohorts! Another howler on the lines of flouting the flaunting rule…