Swindon journalists begin two-day pay strike
Journalists at the Swindon Advertiser today begin two days’ strike action over pay.
A spokesperson for the NUJ Swindon chapel said: “It is time for Newsquest to wake up and realise that highly skilled workers who have helped bring in bumper profits for the company will not work for peanuts while their workload continues to mount.
“We are utterly fed up of being treated with such contempt by Newsquest management, who have seen it fit to cut even more roles from our already diminished workforce. Journalists are the lifeblood of Newsquest and they work hard to foster strong community relations and maintain a loyal readership amid ever-dwindling resources.
“Members believe Newsquest Wiltshire and Oxfordshire is on course to make a £4m operating profit this year – by contrast a decent wage rise for all Swindon journalists, where poor pay is a growing problem in recruiting and retaining staff, would be measured in the tens of thousands of pounds.
“Newsquest should understand that treating their talent in this manner is not acceptable, and journalists will no longer stand for it.”
The Swindon Chapel has been engaged in talks over pay with Newsquest senior management since November 2016, including talks brokered by the conciliation service ACAS earlier last year, during which members have been stonewalled at every level.
Despite statements given to the press from Newsquest saying that meaningful talks with NUJ representatives would take place in a bid to avert the strike, the company has failed to respond to several invitations.
Last month Newsquest announced that the group web editor, news editor and three content managers based at Swindon were at risk of redundancy in a restructure.
NUJ national organiser Laura Davison said: “Newsquest’s shabby treatment of its journalists and journalism is shocking. Everything is sacrificed to the bottom line including the relationship with local readers who are treated as free suppliers of content. Well done to NUJ members in Swindon standing up for quality local news coverage and for the investment in decent pay, conditions and staffing that enables that.”