A second regional newspaper publisher is imposing a pay freeze for 2012, the National Union of Journalists has claimed.
According to the union, Newsquest has imposed a pay freeze for staff at papers at its York, Darlington, South Essex, Bolton, Bury and Glasgow centres, with a review promised later in the year.
The news comes just a year after Newsquest lifted a previous two-year pay freeze which had been in place across the group since 2008.
It follows an announcement last week by Trinity Mirror that all 6,500 of its staff, including management would not receive a pay rise in 2012.
The union is now demanding talks with the companies, claiming Newsquest has “jumped on the pay freeze bandwagon.”
It says that figures from last year show that individual companies within Newsquest, such as Newsquest Midlands South, made a 40pc profit despite the company claiming redundancies were a result of the economic downturn.
Northern and Midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “We now have growing evidence that Newsquest is trying to bring in a pay freeze across the group by stealth for 2012 at a time of unprecedented hardship for our members.
“If there is no increase in 2012, it will be the third year in four that salaries have failed to rise. This is unsustainable for massively hard-pressed staff who have not only had to contend with a 5pc erosion of their pay by inflation, but also had to take heavier workloads due to waves of redundancies.”
The union has claimed that its journalists’ chapels in York, Darlington, South Essex, Bolton, Bury and Glasgow have all reported pay freezes but as with the last freeze, it is believed to apply across the whole group.
Paul Davidson, chief executive of Newsquest had not commented at the time of publication.
Earlier the union had also condemned Trinity Mirror’s pay freeze announcement of last week which it called a ‘kick in the teeth.’
Chris Morley, said: “If the situation is as serious as the company makes out, the board needs to engage in serious dialogue with its staff to navigate its way through these difficult circumstances. The NUJ has consistently called for such talks with Trinity Mirror but has had this offer constantly rejected.”
Trinity Mirror said it did not wish to comment further on its pay freeze but last week said that 2011 had been a challenging year and 2012 showed no signs of improving.
It said the decision not to hold a pay review in Trinity Mirror during 2012 applies to everyone – the Board, all management and employees of the Group.