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No sign of post Brexit vote ‘boom’ for Express staff who see tenth year without a pay rise

By Dominic Ponsford

Journalists at Richard Desmond’s Express and Star national newspaper titles say they have been denied an annual pay rise for the tenth year running.

The National Union of Journalists chapel at the titles put in a claim for 4 per cent which they say has been rejected.

Express Newspapers made pre-tax profits of £30.5m in 2015 on turnover of £197m.

An email which went out to NUJ members from the chapel said:  “As we enter our tenth year of decline in real income, the cost of living is about 25 per cent higher than when we last achieved a pay rise.

“Nobody is underestimating how tough it is out there, particularly in our industry, but most other media companies have managed to give their workforce annual pay rises since 2008. The question is why is our company unable to do the same?

“If our papers are to be believed, the British economy is booming and heading for a new golden age once we leave the European Union.

“Yet one consequence of the Brexit vote for which our papers campaigned is that inflation is forecast to shoot up towards 3 per cent in 2017. We had hoped the company would at least want to demonstrate its confidence in the future by protecting us from the higher inflation it has helped create.”

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NUJ national organiser Laura Davison said: “Desmond’s behaviour has caused real hardship for his staff.

“While he chooses £580 bottles of wine to go with his lunch, his staff are struggling to pay their mortgages, rent and rail fares in to work. He likes to refer to his charity work, yet he has earned his place as one of the meanest bosses in the UK – standing shoulder to shoulder with Green and Ashley.

“How can he possibly justify not giving his hard-working staff a pay rise for a decade?”

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