Friday 30 April 2010

NUJ targets Johnston Press with strike and demo

The NUJ is targeting Johnston Press today with a one day strike at the Scarborough Evening News and associated titles and a protest outside the company's annual meeting in Edinburgh.
The result of a company wide ballot on industrial action is also expected to be announced today. The union claims that the rushed introduction of an Atex content management system has led to a "disastrous drop" in the quality of Johnston newspapers.
“The Scarborough journalists and their colleagues are in the vanguard of a massive wave of discontent across the Johnston group over management’s implementation of Atex, cutting staffing levels and increasing workloads,” said NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear. "Their fight is for jobs, but it is also for quality. Johnston Press is damaging the newspapers our members produce, creating a product which can only fail to satisfy readers. That is an attack on local communities and local democracy.
"Shareholders meeting today in Edinburgh need to know that editorial resources at the group have been cut to the bone to pay for the Johnston debt mountain which was created a through a foolish policy of buying up other titles at high cost. Now the bankers want repayment, and an inept management is seeking to cut costs by slashing jobs. That is damaging the quality of the Johnston newspapers, with an obvious impact on sales. "
Scarborough: Why we are on strike
Pic: Jeremy Dear in protest outside Johnston Press briefing to analysts in City of London last year (Jon Slattery)

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