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North-West journalists begin strike action

The first of two 24-hour strikes by journalists in the North West was due to begin today.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at Newsquest North West titles in Cheshire and Merseyside last week voted unanimously to strike over two days in protest at job losses at their titles.

A second day of industrial action will take place next Tuesday unless the company agrees to high-level talks with the union.

Last month the company announced seven job losses at the group, which includes the Warrington Guardian, Northwich Guardian, Sale and Altrincham Messenger, St Helens Star and The Wirral Globe.

Group editor for the titles Nicola Priest said: “It’s disappointing that the chapel has decided to go on strike before the end of the consultation period and when meaningful dialogue has been ongoing.”

The union says five of the cuts will be compulsory redundancies.

A 30-day consultation using a skills matrix is currently in place to decide who is at risk but the union wants the consultation suspended until an agreement is reached with the company.

The Chapel will start an indefinite work-to-rule following the first day of strikes.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “The NUJ is calling on Newsquest management to urgently get round the table and talk to the union.”

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  • September 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    A tragic shame for those affected. However the NUJ will prove, as ever, toothless. The papers will be produced regardless and while quality will suffer, they will be running with declining circulations anyway and this will not prove catastrophic. If management want to make redundancies they will do so.
    Undoubtedly this will worsen the products and increase the workload of the remaining staff. But in the end management will always win because the basic point is, if you don’t want to work on a paper, 1000’s will.

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