Tuesday 19 July 2011

Workies being used to cover for strikers says NUJ

Striking South Yorkshire NUJ journalists claim their management is using work placement volunteers to "unwittingly undermine" the industrial action launched by the NUJ last Friday to protest at job cuts.

The union claims that at the Selby Times – one of four South Yorkshire Newspapers titles where NUJ journalists are on indefinite strike after the announcement by the Johnston Press-owned company of 18 editorial job cuts – a 16-year-old has been asked to extend his work experience by a week.

The teenager, who originally approached the paper asking to shadow the sports editor, is believed by the union to have been asked to work on both news and sports stories by the paper which is down to just an editor and sports editor

Journalists at the Doncaster Free Press, another paper involved in the dispute, also believe young people on work experience are being used to help publish their paper this week, as almost all the paper’s journalists are on strike.

NUJ negotiator Lawrence Shaw said: “We want a full and unambiguous assurance from management that they are not relying on youngsters and students working for free to produce content to get their newspapers out.

“If SYN management were found to be abusing the goodwill of youngsters to break the strike it would be utterly unforgivable. They need to make it clear they are not doing this.”

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