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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Chapel meeting

Reminder: Chapel meeting on Monday at 1.15pm in the Red Lion.

This isn't a mandatory meeting, but it's a crucial one at this stage in proceedings. Our counter pay offer is on the table, and we need to update the situation with regard to redundancies. If you can get there, get there. 

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Chapel meeting

On Tuesday, we will be holding a chapel meeting at the Red Lion in Darlington at 1.15pm. It's not a mandatory meeting, but we would urge as many members as possible to attend to discuss the outcomes from meetings with management. See you there, but if anyone has anything they wish to raise if they cannot make it to the meeting, email either or Stephen Hunt at

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Spot the difference

NEWSQUEST North-East sent letters to a number of editorial staff in Darlington yesterday informing them their jobs were under threat “in response to the continued economic downturn”.
Today Pearson announced its Financial Times Group “is expecting a substantial growth in profits on the back of an improving advertising market and resilient subscription rates”.
Either someone’s telling porkies or they are just not up to the job they are being paid to do.
For a report on the FT Group’s success, see UK Press Gazette.

Wobbly hub rolls nearer

JUST as Johnston Press and Northcliffe have announced plans to dismantle their centralised subbing operations because they do not work, Newsquest has announced it is setting up a hub to serve its titles in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire to “streamline the business”.
Six staff members are to be made redundant. Apparently the streamlining does not affect managerial types who set their own targets and miss them or executives whose only significant achievements are to boost their own pay packets.
For more details, see Hold the Front Page.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Newsquest: The latest headlines

THE BBC’S business website carries a report today about pay and rising prices – and how industrial action is taking place at many firms because wages are lagging behind. Among those mentioned is Newsquest, which appears to be acquiring a reputation in the business world – the sort of reputation The Northern Echo would do a story about if it concerned a fire brigade chief and firefighters' wages.
To read the report, click here.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Back to the future

JOURNALISTS at the Sheffield Star are being balloted on industrial action. Does this affect us?
Nine months ago Johnston Press, which owns the Star and a whole host of titles across the North-East and North Yorkshire, set up a centralised subbing hub in Sheffield. This was resisted by journalists and the NUJ, who claimed – rightly – that centralised subbing would not work and would undermine newspaper quality.
Johnston went ahead, handing out P45s and ruining the lives of many loyal staff members in the process.
Nine months down the line, Johnston has announced that its hub isn’t working. Now more redundancies are looming while the company railroads through another untested system, wrecking even more lives.
Could this sorry state of affairs be repeated at a company near you? You bet it could.

For a full report, see Hold the Front Page.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Strike spotted in...

Our strike action - and indeed the broader amount of strike and other action being taken at a number of Newsquest centres - has been covered in The Socialist.

Full details can be found at

And in the interests of fairness and balance, here is the Northern Echo story on the strike:

Just to be clear, the Northern Echo did not seek any comment from the union for its story. We would have been happy to explain our reasons.