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Posted on 30 August 2011 at 11:08 GMT

South Yorkshire Newspapers strike now in seventh week

Alistair Tice

The indefinite strike by two dozen South Yorkshire Newspapers (SYN) journalists is now in its seventh week.

The strike began on 15 July to protest against 18 compulsory job losses, office closures, job mergers and in defence of quality local journalism.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members have conducted a high profile and energetic campaign to get their grievances addressed, but the management of SYN and parent company Johnston Press (JP) have refused to negotiate at all, repeatedly making "No Comment".

So a delegation of strikers travelled to London on 25 August to get face to face with John Fry, JP chief executive.

They presented him with a 3,000 signature petition at a JP financial meeting called to present the company's interim results for the six months to last July.

Johnston Press is the UK's third biggest local newspaper company but is in huge debt from empire building gone wrong, and is now cutting jobs and quality journalism to pay for its corporate greed.

JP management's refusal even to talk is a clear sign that it wants to try to break the union's resolve.

The NUJ must back the strikers with a strike fund, rather than one-off donations, and support the South Yorkshire branch's call for a strike ballot across all the JP group.

A NUJ national demonstration must be organised in Doncaster as soon as possible to show support for the strikers and show management that it is taking on the whole union.

Messages of support and donations are very much needed. Please send messages of support to darrenpburke@gmail.com and donations to account name: DFP NUJ Chapel; Account no: 35630388; Sort code: 60-06-39.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 30 August 2011 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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