Labour movement news

Submitted by AWL on 21 February, 2003 - 10:26

Journalists strike at greedy Gannett

In brief

  • Peugeot Coventry strike
  • Train guards’ safety ballot likely

Journalists strike at greedy Gannett

National Union of Journalists members at Newsquest Bradford, a division of the giant US media firm Gannett, are striking over pay. The journalists walked out on 30 and 31 January, and began a week’s strike on Monday 17 February. Picket lines have been set up outside the company’s offices in Bradford, Shipley, Otley, Keighley, Skipton and Ilkley. The chapel is asking for a pay rise of £1,500 each per year, which would still leave most of the journalists below the average wage of £24,000. The company has offered 2%.

During negotiations Newsquest Bradford told the NUJ that their draft accounts for 2002 showed profits down year on year by 3%. That still leaves profits of £8.4 million. The journalists decided on further action as the parent Gannett Corporation announced record profits of more than $1 billion.

Meanwhile, Newsquest workers in Cumbria rejected an offer of 2.5% on 5 February. NUJ members at Newsquest Kendal, covering papers there and in Lancaster, also walked out from February 17 to 20.

Send a message of support to bradfordnuj@yahoo.co.uk.
The chapel needs money to sustain the dispute. Send cheques and postal orders to Newsquest Bradford NUJ chapel, NUJ, 22, Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JQ.

Peugeot Coventry strike

Around 3,500 car workers at the Peugeot factory in Coventry and two plants nearby are due to strike on Thursday 20 February. The action is in support of their pay claim for better than the company's offer of 7.3% over two years. Members of the TGWU voted 54% in favour of strike action after earlier rejecting the pay offer.

Train guards' safety ballot likely

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union is set to ballot 5,000 train guards, in a dispute over safety. The union claims that the role of guards has been downgraded from guardians of safety on trains to "KitKat sellers";, as Train Operating Companies cut costs.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow says: "Under Railway Safety Limited, it seems that railway safety has become very limited indeed. For most operators, safety has come a poor second to profit."

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