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Journalists set for three-day strike over pay dispute

nujlogoJournalists at a weekly newspaper group are set to walk out this week in a pay dispute.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at Alpha Newspaper Group, in Northern Ireland, will begin the three-day strike on Thursday.

The union says many journalists employed by the group earn less than £15,000 a year, with some on statutory minimum wages.

Titles affected include the Coleraine Chronicle and Tyrone Constitution, the Antrim and Ballymena Guardian, the Newry Democrat, the Ulster Gazette and the County Down Outlook.

Nicola Coleman NUJ Irish organiser said: “For years this company has driven down wages and pocketed the money it saved. It is inconceivable that an employer can be left unchallenged when it pays wages from the last century.

“This strike is to ensure that once again journalists in these newspapers have a union agreement that delivers fairness in pay, fairness in working hours and fairness in all aspects of their working life.

“NUJ membership across the group has rocketed in recent months and more than 85 per cent of the journalists employed in these titles are set to strike. They are determined to take a stand for fairness and respect.

“Journalists’ wages have not kept up with inflation and a 14.5pc pay rise is required to deal with this issue alone. All we are asking for is basic decency and respect and we are asking the employer to voluntarily choose to accept these principals.”

Alpha has previously stated the pay increase being demanded by the NUJ is “totally unrealistic in the current environment”, adding the group is “committed” to improving the overal remuneration of all staff.

The strike will take place on Thursday, Friday and Monday, although journalists at the Ballymena Guardian will only walk out on the first day of action.


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  • April 18, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Haven’t we been down this road before? Look to the day when you can start a hyperlocal.

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  • April 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Sad fact is the general public don’t give a toss about this,though they should. JP closed the office of my staff-starved local weekly (one of many such moves) and there wasn’t a murmur from 140,000 plus population. That’s the way it is. Apathy rules in 21st century.

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  • April 19, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Well done Comrades. A strike is just what is needed to make these greedy employers sit up and take notice. JP staff at neighbouring JP Northern Ireland got over 90% vote for strike action last week and got all they asked for from the company. The employers have become too complacent thinking that staff will not strike but their oppressive and greedy attitudes have driven workers to this point. Good luck with the action.

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