The National Union of Journalists says it is clear that newsrooms hit by industrial action “can’t manage” without striking journalists after an erroneous front page headline appeared on one of the newspapers affected.
Friday’s edition of the Surrey Comet featured the splash headline ‘Are litter rules shop counter-productive?’, which hit newsstands on the second day of the strike by Newsquest South London journalists over plans to axe up to 14 jobs.
A photograph of the Comet’s front page, pictured below, was widely shared on social media, including by the NUJ’s official Twitter account.
Other titles affected by the 12-day walkout, which is due to finish on 1 July, include the eight-edition South London Guardian series, Elmbridge Comet and the Richmond & Twickenham Times.
Union members from their sister News Shopper series titles in South-East London are due to join the strike today and tomorrow.
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.
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “At the heart of this dispute is proper resourcing for local newspapers.
“The brilliant stand taken by our members demonstrates the need for Newsquest and parent company Gannett to genuinely invest for the future – in pay, in staffing – for readers and for advertisers.
“It’s clear today the company can’t manage without its committed editorial staff. They should come back round the table and get these issues sorted out pronto.”
Newsquest has yet to respond to HTFP’s request for a comment.