Thursday, May 22, 2008

Messages boost line's morale

Many more moving messages of support have been emailed to us at Experienced activists promised us we'd get backing from our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement. But we are simply overwhelmed by the level of solidarity. Thank you and please keep them coming. Here are the latest:

I write to express my support in your plight for a fair pay rise, at least, in line with inflation. I find it appalling that with the long, unsocial hours journalists work that Newsquest are unable to support their staff fairly. I think it is time for Steve Hughes to take his role as MD seriously before he loses a dedicated team. It's hard to make a stand especially with families to support but you should all be proud that you are and stay in the knowledge that friends and family are all supporting you.

The NUJ Chapel at BBC Radio York supports our colleagues at The Press in your dispute.

Best wishes for your action. I have argued for some time that "local negotiations" are a complete sham. Hopefully your action will lead to some changes. Just wanted to send my support to you all. I spent a few days at the Press last year and knew then some journalists were unhappy with pay and conditions, so good on you all for standing up for yourselves. I feel quite isolated where I work as there is no chapel and branch meetings are 70 miles away, so it is good to know there is another group of activists nearby-ish. Looks like good striking weather anyway!

Good luck. Keep up the good work. All the very best from a northern exile in London. (& it's certainly not paved with gold for most of us drones)

Hi guys - all the best for the strike - good luck with getting a decent pay rise!

Best wishes for the dispute. Hope you get some movement from management. ex-Gazette & Herald

On behalf of members at the Oxford Mail chapel can I salute your stand for better pay and true collective bargaining. Your fight can only inspire all of us working for Newsquest to resist the driving down of wages. We will hold a collection for your strike fund today.

Good luck to you all in your dispute. Your claim is entirely justified and I hope you win through.

Just heard about the strike and want to wish all of you well. Journalists deserve pay and respect.

Members of the Doncaster Free Press NUJ chapel wish you great success in your strike action. I know it is a difficult time because our chapel was out for 13 days in the summer of 2006. Although the company (JP) refused to publicly back down, within six months we had a major pay review which took the lowest grades up by 12-18%!

Just a quick note to say congratulations and good luck for the strike. It's fantastic to see the chapel going from strength to strength - you (we, I suppose) should have taken this action years ago! As an outsider looking in, it beggars belief that you can be treated so badly.

Just read about your strike. I think you are all very brave and hope that you get a much fairer deal as a result.

Here at Johnston Press we are going through turbulent times to with a number of editorial, advertising and admin staff being made redundant. Most of the weekly papers are going to be left with just a staff of two!!!

Congratulations on your industrial action. We took two days' action last year and it really shook the company. It's the only power you have and you have to use it or we will all be ground down. The more Chapels who take a stand the more the employers will see they can't get away with the rubbish they dish out. It benefits us all. We won above inflation (RPI) pay rises for two years and a few improved conditions. We are still fighting for an extra day's holiday. Very best wishes from us all at the North West Evening Mail in Barrow.

I have just emailed your MD Steve Hughes saying that this dispute was completely avoidable had his local management entered into meaningful negotiations with the NUJ. I also told him that it is utterly unrealistic to expect you to settle for 3% when real inflation is over 4% and food inflation is over 10%. I also reminded him that there was no reason why he shouldn't be paying all weekly and monthly seniors a minimum of £20K a year and all evening and morning seniors a minimum of £26K a year. After all, you're all worth it!

My thoughts are with you, my cash will be with you after pay day... good luck.

Good luck in the Grand Old Dispute of York.

Never forget. You are right and they are wrong.

Just to wish my NUJ colleagues at York all the best in their action this week. Something needs to be done to halt the decline in pay and standards at this company.