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Protesters to greet new boss on first newspaper visit

The new chief executive of Johnston Press is facing a protest today when he visits the company’s Leeds centre.

National Union of Journalists members at the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post and associated weeklies are holding a one-hour mandatory chapel meeting outside the city centre offices.

It is aimed at coinciding with John Fry’s first visit to the centre since taking over the new role this week from Tim Bowdler as part of his tour of JP’s UK centres over the coming weeks.

A meeting has already taken place today between the NUJ chapel and management in Leeds at which, among other topics, recent photographic redundancies were discussed.

Father of the NUJ chapel Peter Lazenby said the company had been looking for four voluntary redundancies but only one staff member had come forward.

“We’ve made progress on a number of issues including the removal of the deadline for voluntary redundancies on the photographic jobs,” he said.

“We’re also opening a series of negotiations, starting next week, on the way ahead for the whole of editorial where all options will be discussed, including levels of staffing.

“On that basis we’re going ahead with our protest but for one hour instead of the planned two.

“It will be during our lunch breaks from 12pm to 1pm. We don’t know what time Mr Fry is coming.”

Last year the NUJ chapel agreed via ballot that if Johnston Press tried to push ahead with any compulsory redundancies at the Leeds centre, the union would go straight to a strike ballot.

The chapel agreed before Christmas to hold today’s mandatory chapel which is in protest at a company-wide pay freeze.

Johnston Press has declined to comment on the protest.


Ken (09/01/2009 17:08:52)
Not content with running two great papers into the ground JP are now trying to crush the journalists. What next? A joint staff? A combined newspaper? A free daily?
Who klnows what twisted mminds will come up with?