Monday, May 26, 2008

Thanks for 'phenomenal' support

Striking journalists in York wish to thank the thousands of people who have backed them during their five-day walkout.

The NUJ chapel at The Press and Gazette and Herald are striking over a derisory pay-increase offer of 3% - well below inflation, and less than several other papers in Newsquest, the papers' owners.

The journalists have been backed by local politicians of all parties, as well as thousands of local residents and readers of the papers.

Former Press editor Dave Nicholson also backed the strikers, as have many other workers around the city.

Joint Father of Chapel Sam Southgate said: "The support has been phenomenal. Many people have been amazed to learn how poor local journalists are paid, and were shocked to hear that millions of pounds made in York were being sucked out of the local economy by Newsquest and their American owners.

"Donations and messages of goodwill have been flooding in from all over the country, and even as far afield as New York. The support from other employees at The Press, such as advertising staff, and delivery drivers, has also been fantastic.

"The ball is now in Steve Hughes' court - he must decide whether to listen to the people of York and pay their journalists a fair wage, or to continue pandering to the excessive demands of American shareholders."

This is the first strike by journalists at The Press since 1978.