Newsquest journalists in Cheshire called off plans to hold a one-day strike in protest at the publisher’s subbing hub plans today.
While National Union of Journalists members at the company’s Blackburn and South London centres went ahead with the 24-hour stoppage, the Warrington chapel made a “last minute” decision not to take part.
The Warrington chapel, which includes journalists on the Warrington Guardian, Wirral Globe and Altrincham Messenger, voted 93.1pc in favour of strike action in a ballot which ended earlier this month.
However it did not join today’s strike which was held in protest at plans to transfer production of the company’s North West titles to its subbing hub in Newport, South wales.
Asked why the Warrington journalists were not taking part, an NUJ spokeswoman responded: “There was a last-minute change in the circumstance and they may be looking to take a different sort of action.”
Journalists in Blackburn and Sutton formed early morning picket lines today as the 24-hour stoppage began.
Mike Murphy-Pyle, father-of-chapel at Sutton said: “Newsquest’s ongoing policy of managed decline has led to a situation where it is affecting communities.
“Elmbridge has been left without a local newspaper. Richmond and Twickenham no longer have a long-established newspaper operating within the community and across the company titles are suffering as over-stretched journalists struggle to do their jobs.
“What we want is to be able to serve the communities we are published in properly. As it stands, many of us find ourselves unable to do that to the best of their ability.
“No-one became a journalist to be a millionaire and we don’t ask for much. All we want is to be given the resources to do our jobs properly and recognition that we are hard-working, innovative and dedicated to the communities we serve.”
Newsquest has not responded to requests for a comment on today’s strike. The company has previously said it was “extremely disappointed” at the decision to take strike action.