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South Yorkshire strikers in bid to call in ACAS

Striking journalists in South Yorkshire want to call in the conciliation service ACAS to resolve their dispute with management, it was confirmed today.

National Union of Journalists’ members at the Johnston Press-owned South Yorkshire Newspapers have been on indefinite strike since 15 July in protest at planned job cuts.

Now they are calling on JP to agree to talks under the aegis of the Advistory Conciliation and Arbitration Service in a bid to break the deadlock.

The union says that if JP fails to respond to its offer, it wants the government to intervene.

Strike action was called in the wake of proposals to axe 18 jobs across four weekly titles – the Doncaster Free Press, Goole Courier, Selby Times and Mexborough-based South Yorkshire Times.

The proposals will see the roles of editor of both the South Yorkshire Times and Goole Courier disappear, with the titles coming under the Doncaster Free Press and Selby Times respectively.

The approach to ACAS was agreed following a meeting of the group’s NUJ chapel last night.

Today it issued a statement that accused the company of relying on a “no-consultation approach” to push through these proposals.

“The senior management of SYN and indeed JP has shown that it is absolutely incapable of producing or expediting any kind of fair or lawful consultation on a redundancy plan which we believe will fatally damage its titles, our jobs and futures, and which will harm a free press in this country,” it said.

“For this reason, the SYN chapel now calls on the auspices of the government in the form of ACAS to intervene in this dispute.

“If the company yet again fails to engage, this demonstrates the complete moral, managerial and strategic redundancy of SYN and JP itself.

“The SYN NUJ chapel re-iterates its willingness to meaningfully negotiate a settlement of this dispute which does not harm our titles, our members or the future of the press.”

Johnston Press told HTFP it would not be making any comment on the move.


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  • July 27, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Good job HTFP exists – who else would expose the likes of Johnston Press etc for what they are. As for making no comment, that’s just dreadful. Local online publishers – you must be out there – highlight the wrongdoings and lack of accountability of these media groups. Cos your local paper can’t!

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  • July 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Johnston Press, as usual, ‘would not be making any comment’.

    Yet again they hide behind this whilst wrecking, what were once good quality local newspapers, and destroying careers of hard-working and diligent journalists, photographers and production staff.

    The management of this company should be ashamed of themselves. It is they who should be out of a job rather than wielding the axe all around and then toadying up to the head of JP and asking for performance related pay for doing so well in cutting costs.

    You know who you are ‘inept managers’ and so do we….what goes around comes around. Keep the solidarity strikers – you will win in the end.

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  • July 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    JP is now clueless. My pal in East Midlands tells me one brainwave in this innovative company has to save sales is to do to village features and old pictures and the like. I seem to remember my dad mentioning doing that in the days of the dinosaurs. Someone probably got paid a lot of dosh for coming up with that stroke of genius- but it won’t the poor devils who have to put it together. Do they know how totally peed off their staff are by ludicrous management decisions-like putting the price of papers up in a “recession”.

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  • July 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    youngupstart – The price of papers has gone up because the price of newsprint has rocketed.

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