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Further strikes announced at Yorkshire Post Newspapers

Striking journalists at Yorkshire Post Newspapers have announced further industrial action.

National Union of Journalists members walked out of the Leeds city centre offices last Thursday for four days of continuous action with a further four due to start tomorrow.

But now the NUJ chapel at the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post and associated weeklies has announced it will also hold two one-day strikes on 4 and 7 March.

In addition, they will hold four mandatory chapel meetings during work time on 5, 6, 8 and 10 March.

The dispute is over redundancies as parent company Johnston Press looks to cut editorial staffing by up to 18 positions, mainly among production teams.

NUJ members also plan to leaflet Press Association offices during the strike.

The union says that during last week’s stoppage hardly any editorial work was being done at the Leeds headquarters as copy and stories were sent to PA which had dedicated reporters working for the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post.

They produced pages based on the papers’ usual templates, says the NUJ.

Jenny Lennox, NUJ northern area assistant organiser, said: “We were stunned by the sophistication of the Press Association strike-breaking operation.

The Yorkshire Post Newspapers joint chapel are steadfast and determined to fight to save jobs and protect the quality of their papers and websites.”

PA declined to comment on this latest development. Last week, a spokeswoman said: “The Press Association has a long-standing contract with Johnston Press to supply a range of services to most of their titles and this will continue through the strike action in Leeds.”

Johnston Press had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.


Angry (26/02/2009 09:23:41)
At least MD Chris Green isn’t making any more snide remarks about subs and quality as this strike goes on.
His shortcomings are well known but one inane quote of his sticks in the mind.
During a meeting to explain why he was turning the YEP into a printed-the-day-before excuse for a paper he, oozing insincerity, said it was a sad day for him because he was born with ink on his fingers!
Sorry Chris, that’s not ink…it’s blood.
And, as a postscript, I wonder how PA editor Tony Watson is feeling right now? He is, after all, a former editor of the Yorkshire Post.

Jamie (26/02/2009 09:56:50)
YP and YEP staff on strike – YouTube videos of the protest…

Mortgage_to_pay (26/02/2009 12:05:10)
JP employees need to be afraid.. very afraid. If you think this won’t happen to you, think again. The bloodletting has only just begun, and with PA ready like jackals to grab the work, it’s time to stand up and fight. There’s nothing to lose, seriously. Very best wishes to the Leeds campaigners.

Janine (26/02/2009 12:58:44)
The difference in quality of the YP/YEP as striking. Although both have their problems, as we all do thanks to understaffing, they were markedly poorer over last weekend. Some of the stories were extremely poor – but I bet the big bosses at JP won’t notice, as none of them has a clue about editorial standards. All they care about it profits.

dadvocate (26/02/2009 13:41:32)
however when jp took over rim and 100’s of non nuj people got made redundant what happened – nothing. when the printing jobs were lost what happened – nothing. when people in advertising were made redundant what happened – you guessed it – nothing. makes you wonder if it wasn’t nuj jobs being lost here would they care???

bean counter (26/02/2009 14:05:28)
As this dispute enters its second week, it’s worth getting a few things straight. Firstly, it has unprecedented editorial support. Every YEP journalist below the level of deputy edior has joined the strike. On the YP, every NUJ member except one is taking part, leaving no more than a handful of others at work. A previously apathetic workforce, the vast majority with families to feed and mortgages to pay, has been united against the ignorant and short-sighted management of their papers. When will the big bosses at Johnston’s wake up to the fact that their bone-headed Leeds managers are in the process of destroying a profitable company, having first alienated a co-operative workforce? This isn’t good business practice, it’s just stupidity.

billpayer (26/02/2009 17:29:50)
well wait until later on this year when jp can’t renegotiate their 400+ million debt and it’s sold off and broken up into lots of little pieces… we can all chip in buy it and run it like a newspaper should be run!

Newshound (28/02/2009 22:45:05)
With the YEP circulation down 12% over the year which appears to be the worst fall of any UK evening newspaper, I have to ask…. where does the buck stop? Is anyone in charge going to do the honourable thing and resign? Does anyone in charge have a plan for getting readers back? How ON EARTH has it come to THIS?