Strikers in York

Strikers in York

The National Union of Journalists claims there was an overwhelming level of public support for the 24 hour strike action which took place in Yorkshire and the North East yesterday.

Journalists held strikes at Newsquest centres in Darlington, York and Bradford in protest at 25 jobs being moved 270 miles away to Wales to create a central production point for local newspapers including The Northern Echo and York Press.

The union says there are 10 jobs at risk in Bradford, five in York and 10 in Darlington.

NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet,  travelled to be on the picket line at Darlington and led a march through the town centre.

She said: “Countless shoppers and passers-by took time out to stand and talk about the situation facing journalists here and in York and Bradford.

“The clear message from readers was that Newsquest management is out of touch – readers want their local newspaper to be just that, a vibrant source of relevant news, information and entertainment, produced by journalists who are part of the local community and passionate about giving it a voice. It’s high time Newsquest executives listened to their staff and to their readers.”

Earlier this week, David Coates, Newsquest Yorkshire and North-East managing director, had attacked the action as ‘disproportionate’.

“The media industry is facing huge structural change and Newsquest North-East has responded by investing in a state-of-the-art editorial system which will make journalists’ jobs significantly easier. It will enable us to publish our content far more efficiently across multi-digital platforms and in print.

“A consequence of this necessary change is that part of the sub-editing process will be transferred to a production centre in Wales.