Union members have this morning handed a petition to the chief executive of Johnston Press in protest at 18 job cuts at South Yorkshire Newspapers.
Axed South Yorkshire Times editor Jim Oldfield also attended the petition handover and confronted chief executive of Johnston Press John Fry outside the company’s headquarters in London as bosses were set to hold a financial results review.
Thousands of readers signed the petition in support of journalists who are entering their seventh week of indefinite strike action.
Union members from the South Yorkshire Times, Selby Times, Epworth Bells, and Doncaster Free Press have been on indefinite strike action since 15 July over job cuts, office closures, increased workloads and a lack of faith in management.
Three editorial posts have been lost at the South Yorkshire Times and the remaining reporters will now be based in Doncaster with the paper coming under the editorship of Doncaster Free Press chief Graeme Huston.
Jim Oldfield was made redundant during the continuing official indefinite strike but is in the process of appealing his redundancy.
Speaking to HTFP, he said: “I finally got face-to-face with Mr Fry. I told him that JP had a policy of sacking people who were effective. I was a success at my job so they sacked me. I told him I will see him before a select committee.”
Five union members from SYN joined union officials in London to hand over the petition, which was signed by more than 3,000 people.
NUJ organiser Chris Morley said: “It’s wonderful that so many people have chosen to back our members’ campaign against what is effectively the death of their newspaper. It was brilliant to see how much support we have had from readers – at times people were literally queuing up to sign the petition.”
Johnston Press did not wish to comment.