Journalists at South Yorkshire Newspapers who have been on indefinite strike action since 15 July will return to work today.
Reporters at four papers – the Doncaster Free Press, Epworth Bells, Selby Times and South Yorkshire Times – had been on strike for eight weeks over 18 proposed job cuts at the titles, office closures, increased workloads and declining newspaper standards.
The company has confirmed that the reorganisation is now complete.
During the strike, editor of the South Yorkshire Times, Jim Oldfield received his notice of redundancy, as did sports editor of the Doncaster Free Press, Peter Catt.
Jim, who caused controversy when he carried a story about Johnston Press’ plans on the front page of his paper, is currently in the process of appealing his redundancy.
Selby Times reporter Martin Herron, said: “We have offered the company several opportunities to talk and been rebuffed.
“However SYN have now agreed that we can return to work without cancelling any further industrial action.
“Given that, we feel it is in everyone’s interest – the readers’, the company’s and our own – to return to work to allow talks to begin.”
He added: “The chapel is still very much united and we hope we will be able to find common ground with the company which will lead to an improvement in working conditions and in the quality of the newspapers we produce.”
The chapel has not ruled out the possibility of further industrial action.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “I am delighted that common sense has prevailed at South Yorkshire Newspapers and meaningful negotiations will start with the chapel. We have wanted talks all along and we hope they will be positive and constructive.”
Johnston Press confirmed that the SYN NUJ Chapel has informed the company of its intention to return to work on Thursday, 8 September.
John Bills, Managing Director, said: “I am pleased that the NUJ Chapel has decided to return to work, enabling us to continue the consultation and communication process.
“In the meantime, those at risk of redundancy have been informed of the outcome and the reorganisation is now complete.”