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Cross-party backing for journalists as 12-day strike continues

nujlogoStriking journalists in South London have won cross-party support for their walkout as their 12-day stoppage reaches the half way point.

National Union of Journalists members at Newsquest South London titles have received backing from local MPs from all three main parties as well as members of the capital city’s Assembly.

A delegation of striking Newsquest journalists, led by Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, has met London Assembly members representing the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green Party.

Meanwhile James Berry, Conservative MP for Kingston and Surbiton, joined the picket line, while Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, and Vicky Foxcroft, Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford, have also sent messages of support.

The action was called after members voted unanimously in favour of striking over a proposed cost-cutting drive, which will see many senior roles cut and 16 weeklies placed under a single group managing editor.

Those on strike include staff from the eight-edition South London Guardian series, Elmbridge Comet and the Richmond & Twickenham Times

Colleagues at their sister News Shopper series, in South-East London, staged a walkout on Monday and Tuesday.

The NUJ is demanding a three per cent salary increase and changes to the proposed reorganisation.

In a statement supporting those on strike, Ms Foxcroft said: “The News Shopper in my area, and other local publications owned by Newsquest, are a vital local source of news for many people.

“They play a hugely important role in local democracy and they open up debates for people who do not have the means to engage online.

“Newsquest and the government must do more to ensure jobs are protected and local newspapers stay in circulation.”

Mr Brake tweeted: “I support journalists of @NUJofficial. We should all be worried by threats to local newspapers, which are the bedrock of free speech.”

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  • June 25, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    What noises are management making on this now? Any signs of relenting? Three per cent sounds piffling to me – £300 every £10k – given the remuneration, including bonuses, that unskilled media execs (i.e. they don’t and can’t actually do anything to create profit) rake in. Best of luck to you all.

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