Striking journalists who say they are fearful for the future over proposed job cuts at newspapers in the North West have begun an online petition to rally for support.
More than 40 members of the National Union for Journalists took to the picket line yesterday over five proposed compulsory redundancies at Newsquest North West titles in Cheshire and Merseyside.
All seven editorial staff from the Northwhich Guardian took part in the 24 hour strike, with the union claiming that Newsquest had brought in managers from Kendal to cover.
The chapel has now started an online petition in order to gain support for the industrial action which is due to see union members take to the picket line for a second time on Tuesday unless the company agrees to talks.
One of the strikers said: “Our chapel voted unanimously for strike action because the company refused to heed our concerns and insisted there was no alternative to job cuts even though this remains a healthy, profit making business.
“Our members feel they are being punished for management’s failings, which have led to reduced profits.
“We offered the company the chance to explain satisfactorily the reasons behind the cuts and they failed to do so.
“Management have claimed workloads are decreasing at the same time as new ventures being set to be launched to be produced by our staff.
“Our members already struggle to deal with the current workload before the cuts and are very fearful for the future with a reduced workforce.”
On Tuesday, Nicola Priest, group editor for the titles told HTFP it was disappointing that the chapel has decided to go on strike before the end of the consultation period and when “meaningful dialogue” had been on-going.