Friday, May 16, 2008

Spin by numbers

Newsquest York's managing director Steve Hughes put out a statement yesterday about our chapel's planned five-day strike. An article on the Press Gazette website included this:

Hughes rejected the union’s “misleading” claim about staff turnout in the strike ballot and said that 22 from a possible 58 voted in favour of the walk-out.

It is worth pointing out that it is simply untrue to say 58 people could have voted for a walkout. Obviously, the only people entitled to do so are union members, and there are 34 NUJ members at Newsquest York. Look at it that way and we have a big majority - close to 65%.

Of course, some people were unable to return their ballots, those on holiday during the voting period, for example. Of those who did cast their votes - 26 members - 85% said yes to strike action.

And who said journalists were no good with numbers?