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London strike halted following ‘successful’ talks

Staff at Newsquest South London have today halted their planned four-day strike following successful talks with management.

National Union of Journalists’ members at Newsquest London and Newsquest South & West London began the stoppage on Monday and had not been due to return to work until Friday.

But in a joint statement with managers issued this morning, the NUJ chapels announced that they have reached an amicable agreement.

It follows an undertaking from bosses to replace any staff who leave over the next six months and to retain two additional editorial positions.

The strike had been called over the closure of the sports and leisure department based in Suttton and the loss of eight jobs across Newsquest’s South London titles.

Talks aimed at resolving the dispute had been ongoing since Monday morning.

Today’s joint statement said: “Newsquest London and Newsquest South West London NUJ chapel are pleased to announce we have reached an amicable agreement which has led to editorial staff ending all industrial action.

“The agreement to replace vacancies that may occur over the next six months and to retain two extra editorial positions was accepted by a majority of union members.

“Staff returned to work at Sutton and Twickenham this morning, Wednesday, June 29, after ending their work to rule and calling off the last two days of a four-day strike.

“The agreement was reached following two days of meaningful negotiations which led to an agreement acceptable to both parties.”

Titles which had been affected by the proposed cutbacks included the Epsom Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Surrey Comet and Richmond & Twickenham Times.

A sports editor and one sports sub editor have already been made redundant and two sports reporters have accepted positions which became available within the news teams. All three reporters from the Croydon Guardian have resigned in the last month and a half.

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