An Early Day Motion condemning pay rates at Newsquest has now been signed by 59 MPs.
The motion was tabled by veteran Labour backbencher Austin Mitchell in January as part of the NUJ’s Fair Pay Now campaign. The union has said it wants the UK’s second-largest regional newspaper publisher to set a minimum rate of £20,000 for a qualified senior journalist.
The motion states: “That this House notes with concern that trained and qualified journalists for the regional newspaper group Newsquest, which made over £70m last year, while its US parent company made over $1bn, are earning as little as £12,000 a year; further notes that, although executive pay at Newsquest papers rose 43 per cent last year, many of the journalists endured a real-terms pay cut imposed by the company; therefore supports the Newsquest journalists’ campaign for fair pay; and urges the company to recognise the contribution made to the group by its journalists by giving them the fair deal they deserve.”
Forty-three Labour MPs have signed, nine Liberal Democrats and four from Plaid Cymru. They include Dennis Skinner, Paul Flynn, Jeremy Corbyn and Norman Baker.