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Strike action planned at Newsquest North East

Journalists at Newsquest North East are to hold three days of industrial action next week over proposed job cuts and a pay freeze.

The National Union of Journalists chapel at The Northern Echo and sister weeklies will hold mandatory chapel meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The news comes after last month’s announcement that Newsquest North East was looking to shed 17 editorial jobs at the Darlington centre as well as close five district offices and freeze pay until at least April.

The NUJ said that its chapel members voted over 90pc in favour of some form of industrial action.

Along with The Echo, the centre publishes the Darlington and Stockton Times, the Durham Times and the Advertiser series, employing around 100 editorial staff.

Jenny Lennox, the NUJ’s northern assistant organiser, said: “The Newsquest chapels in the North East had both been offered pay rises during negotiations before the company snatched them away and imposed a pay freeze.

“There have been big job cuts and the heart has been ripped out of papers that played a significant part in the distinctive cultural life of the region and helped to hold the communities together.

“Our new year’s message is that NUJ members are determined to stand up for each other and to stand up for journalism.”

Newsquest North East managing director David Coates was unavailable for comment.


Lister (30/12/2008 17:24:27)
In the age of information technology, it’s amazing how many newspaper execs are unavailable for comment (except when they’re receiving OBEs, as in the story above). Why don’t you just email him?

slim jim (31/12/2008 09:13:29)
Because they just ignore them

Person with intelligence (02/01/2009 11:16:01)
When it says so and so was unavailable for comment it means that no matter what lengths were gone to to obtain a comment they were unsuccessful. If a person does not want to make themselves available they do not have to. The statement so and so was unavailable is to indicate that every effort was made but to no avail. I would have thought that was clear to anyone with an ounce of intelligence.