Journalists in Darlington have joined the growing tide of unrest at Newsquest by voting to take strike action, as the National Union of Journalists mounts a nationwide campaign against the company.
Last month, members of the chapel decided to ballot for industrial action after the group announced plans to merge the Echo’s subbing operation with that of the Darlington and Stockton Times, putting eight jobs at risk.
The move comes as NUJ members at the Southern Daily Echo and Brighton’s The Argus announced they will hold a two-day strike next Tuesday and Wednesday over job losses and Newsquest’s continuing pay freeze.
And union members in Bradford are being balloted on industrial action over proposals to merge the daily and weekly newsrooms, putting jobs at risk, while journalists at York, Bolton, Blackburn and Newsquest Hampshire in Andover will also be balloted over the pay freeze.
The NUJ’s National Executive Committee says it is now spearheading a national campaign against the situation at Newsquest.
NUJ Deputy General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet, who is heading the union’s campaign, said: “NUJ members at Newsquest are standing up for journalists and journalism. They are fighting the corporate greed which is doing so much damage to their papers and websites and they have the full support of the union.
“There has been a magnificent campaign by our members at Newsquest to resist the attacks on jobs, pay, pensions and quality journalism.
“There is a real determination amongst members to work together to put collective pressure on the company. NUJ members at Newsquest have the entire union supporting them in the fight to put journalism before profit.
“Our strength is in our support for each other as trade union members and I’m pleased the NEC has agreed the union will prioritise this campaign.”
Newsquest chief executive Paul Davidson was not available for comment at the time of publication.