Gannett, whose UK regional publishing arm Newsquest runs papers including the Northern Echo, the Oxford Mail and the South Wales Argus, has announced an expected share return of around $1.3billion – the equivalent of just under £856million.
The NUJ labelled the pay-out a “disgrace” when staff at its UK newspapers have had their pay frozen for the past five years,.
NUJ organiser for the Northern and Midlands regions Chris Morley said: “It is breath-taking that Gannett, the US owners of Newsquest in the UK can boast about giving away $1.3 billion to its shareholders on the other side of the Atlantic in the next two years while asking its British employees to take such pain.
“Journalists in this country are directly subsiding the pockets of wealthy US corporate shareholders with 2013 being the fourth year out of five without a pay rise on already miserly salaries.”
Journalists at Newsquest-owned dailies The Press, York, and the Telegraph & Argus, Bradford, have taken industrial action over the ongoing freeze.