Wednesday 27 July 2011

NUJ calls for ACAS role over South Yorks strike

The NUJ is calling for Johnston Press to go to arbitration service ACAS in a bid to end the indefinite strike called by union members at its South Yorkshire Newspapers division over job cuts.

The cuts have been proposed at the South Yorkshire Times, Doncaster Free Press, Epworth Bells, Selby Times and Goole Courier.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: "We are calling on Johnston Press to enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute. We want to make sure local news reflects the communities it serves and this battle is about quality and resources. The impact of the cuts is a stark threat not simply to our members’ livelihoods but to local news and the future of the industry.”

The NUJ chapel has agreed a motion stating: “The senior management of South Yorkshire Newspapers (SYN) and indeed Johnston Press (JP) has shown that it is absolutely incapable of producing or expediting any kind of fair or lawful consultation on a redundancy plan which we believe will fatally damage its titles, our jobs and futures, and which will harm a free Press in this country.

"Instead the company has relied on a combination of bullying, harassment and bunker mentality to deliver a no-consultation approach in unlawfully pushing through these proposals. For this reason, the SYN chapel now calls on the auspices of the Government in the form of ACAS to intervene in this dispute.

"If the company yet again fails to engage, this demonstrates the complete moral, managerial and strategic redundancy of SYN and JP itself. The SYN NUJ chapel re-iterates its willingness to meaningfully negotiate a settlement of this dispute which does not harm our titles, our members or the future of the Press.”

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