Thursday 11 November 2010

Newsquest faces fresh strike action in Brighton

NUJ members at the Newsquest-owned Argus in Brighton have voted to go on strike next week over pay and the latest round of redundancies.

The strike is planned next Thursday and Friday and comes as six news sub-editors are being made redundant, with their work being transferred to Newsquest's Southern Daily Echo office in Southampton.

NUJ members at Newsquest in Southampton haver just completed a 48-hour strike in protest at the company's pay freeze and plan more action on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

The Brighton and Hove News website quotes an Argus journalist: “It’s high time we Argonauts stood up to the disgraceful management which keeps taking from Brighton and not giving anything back.

“Job after job has been moved to Southampton in a bid to scrimp and save. The bosses blame difficult trading conditions but meanwhile they boast about making massive profit margins – about 20 per cent – and give the chief executive a £100,000 21 per cent pay rise. Enough is enough.”

Newsquest is facing a potential winter of discontent. The NUJ chapel at Newsquest Darlington, publisher of The Northern Echo, is considering what action to take over a new round of job cuts as daily and weekly subbing teams are merged.

  • Newsquest journalists are incensed by a story on Roy Greenslade's MediaGuardian blog last month which reported Gracia Martore, the finance chief of Gannett, Newsquest's US parent company, telling analysts: "Let me once and for all dispel the myth that Newsquest doesn't make money. Newsquest makes a lot of money. In fact, their margin, as I have said a couple of times, is consistent with the margin that our local US community publishing operations generate. So their margins are in the high teens to low 20s. And they have consistently made money throughout the years, even in a year like last year when revenues were under as much pressure as they were."

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