Four weeks of industrial action planned at Northern Echo

Journalists on The Northern Echo, Darlington and Stockton Times and the Durham Times this week started the first of four weeks of industrial action in a protest over pay and the removal of holiday benefits.

Sixty-two members of the National Union of Journalists employed by Newsquest at four centres in the North East are working-to-rule as an objection to low pay and management’s decision to take back the day’s holiday awarded to staff on their birthdays.

Union members at centres in Darlington, Durham, Northallerton and Bishop Auckland are planning to work just their contracted 75-hour fortnight as part of the protest.

In addition, the union chapel will hold a weekly mandatory meeting during the action with individual members taking a day’s leave if their birthday falls during the four-week period.

The union notified local management earlier this month of its intention to take industrial action after a successful ballot of staff.

Chris Morley, NUJ organiser, told Press Gazette the union had requested Newsquest North East managers join the NUJ in talks at ACAS but that the company refused.

‘The chapel has bent over backwards to try and get a resolution on these matters,’Morley said.

‘It [industrial action] is a clear intention that employees working at Newsquest have just had enough of the continual cutting and no pay rises.”

Press Gazette contacted Newsquest North East last night for comment and was told that managing director David Coates was unavailable and that no-one else was able to comment.

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