Monday, June 16, 2008

Spreading the word in Sheffield

Joint Father of Chapel Sam Southgate addresses the TUC Trades Councils' Conference. Picture: Sid Frisby

We were honoured to be invited by NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear to speak at the TUC Trades Councils' Conference 2008 at Sheffield Town Hall, which was held over the weekend.

Joint Father of Chapel Sam Southgate went along and told about 70 delegates from all over the country of our five-day strike, the background to the dispute and Newsquest's policies, and our continuing campaign for decent pay. Many delegates were based in areas where Newsquest has operations, so they understood well what we are up against. Others said two of the key issues raised during the conference were how to encourage young trade unionists (the majority of our members at The Press and the Gazette & Herald are in their 20s) and how to assist those involved in disputes, so our appeal was a perfect fit.

A motion was passed to urge delegates to do all they could to back NUJ members in York - including signing our petition, pressing MPs to sign our Early Day Motion, and sending messages of solidarity and donations for our strike fund. A collection among delegates during the conference raised £210 for our fund - an amazing sum for which we offer sincere thanks.

If you would like an NUJ member from Newsquest York to speak at your union branch or chapel meeting, please get in touch by emailing