Belfast journalists balloted for strike action over pay

J0urnalists at two Belfast-based newspapers are being balloted for strike action over pay and over negotiating a new collective agreement.

The NUJ members are frustrated after two years of pay talks led to nothing, and the collective agreement between the union and the company has not been renewed since 2003.

Irish organiser Ian McGuinness said: “For nearly two years we have been trying to get the company to engage in a constructive and meaningful way. It has procrastinated, delayed and frustrated the talks process. In a last ditch attempt to try to talk sense into the company on these matters, the NUJ referred the dispute to the Labour Relations Agency for collective conciliation. Unfortunately, because of the company’s stance, that attempt has so far failed.

“Our members held a chapel meeting on Friday and they are frustrated and angry by the lack of progress. They see no alternative but to ask the union to start a ballot for industrial action, including strike action, to get their message across. The message to the company is simple – Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life journalists deserve a pay rise and they should be paid extra when they take on a more senior role.

“The company is profitable and can afford it. It is not too late for INM to recognise the contribution of their workers to the success of the titles and reward them fairly for their work.

“The NUJ remains willing to engage in further talks at any stage to resolve this escalating dispute.”

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