Striking journalists at a series of weekly newspapers have returned to the newsroom on a ‘work to rule’.
Members of the National Union of Journalists went back to work yesterday at Newsquest South London titles after a fortnight of action in total.
The ‘work to rule’ means journalists will strictly adhere to company or statutory work-related rules already in place.
The ongoing dispute follows plans which would have seen a single pool of 12 reporters working across all South London titles, with all bar two of the 29-strong newsroom placed at risk of redundancy.
The union previously claimed seven reporters had resigned in protest at the plans, which would mean up to 11 job losses across the South London titles.
Papers affected include the Guardian series in Croydon, Epsom, Kingston, Richmond, Sutton, Wandsworth and Wimbledon, the News Shopper series covering Bexley, Bromley, Dartford, Gravesend, and Greenwich, the Richmond & Twickenham Times and Surrey Comet.
A Newsquest South London NUJ chapel spokesperson said: “We demonstrated to the company our rejection of their proposed structure.
“Spirits were high over both weeks and we had phenomenal support from other journalists, as well as our readers and elected politicians. We went out to our patches to let readers know what exactly Newsquest is going to do to their beloved local papers.
“The paradox is that getting on patch will be a thing of the past under the new system. We are still as determined as ever to roll back these severe and unnecessary cuts. We will assess our options and everything is still on the table.”