Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rock royalty backs strikers

York's rock band royalty are in harmony with our strike. As we approach the final day of our five-day stoppage, our walkout has been backed by former Seahorses singer-songwriter Chris Helme, whose new band The Yards will be performing a charity gig at the Minster on Thursday night.

Helme signed our petition, which is closing in on more than 1,000 signatures, declaring that journalists at The Press and its weekly newspaper, the Gazette & Herald, should be given a fair pay deal.

And in a further boost, Chris Farrell , the lead guitarist with The Yards, has written an eloquent letter to Newsquest York's managing director Steve Hughes backing the NUJ campaign for a decent pay rise. Helme and Farrell said they both "totally supported" the journalists’ fight for a fair pay offer.

The three per cent deal proposed by management has been overwhelmingly rejected by the NUJ chapel prompting the five-day stoppage. No fewer than four other companies in the Newsquest empire have been given 3.5 per cent pay deals.

Tickets for The Yards charity gig on Thursday at the Minster - ironically in aid of The Press’s Guardian Angels charity appeal and also the Minster Restoration Fund - are available from Fibbers nightclub and the Church House reception, in Ogleforth.