Journalists at a weekly newspaper series have joined striking colleagues in a walkout over pay, staffing and redundancies.
Staff at South-East London’s News Shopper are on strike today and tomorrow – joining National Union of Journalists members from the eight-edition South London Guardian series, Elmbridge Comet and the Richmond & Twickenham Times, who are three days into a 12-day walkout.
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.
The NUJ says it had been in negotiation with Newsquest at the arbitration service ACAS on Friday, where some movement was made including an agreement to pay the London Living Wage to staff and signing new house agreements.
The union is also demanding a three per cent salary increase and changes to the proposed reorganisation.
A Twitter account called @CutsQuest has been set up by the striking journalists, offering updates from the two picket lines.
A spokesman for the NUJ’s News Shopper chapel said: “If management were trying to scare us, then it has backfired.
“We are even more determined to take action.
“The fact that we have to go on strike to get a London Living Wage for some of our colleagues and an office to work in is incredible.”
Newsquest South London managing director Gary Kendall said the two parties had talked this morning about arranging further negotiations and confirmed that the London Living Wage agreement stands.
He added: “We continue to seek a resolution to the dispute and are hopeful that further discussions planned between the two sides can bring the industrial action to a conclusion.”