National Union of Journalists members in Leeds held a four-day strike from 19 February at the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post (YP/YEP) building. They were protesting against a proposed 10% cut in the journalist/editorial staff.
Kevin Pattison, Leeds Socialist Party
Management at the papers are demanding 18 redundancies, to maintain their profits and repay a £450 million deficit, created by paying out dividends and bonuses to shareholders and directors.
With a fall in advertising revenue as a result of the credit crunch, the directors have decided that journalists will have to pay with their jobs for the directors’ mismanagement of the papers.
They are not even willing to pay the level of redundancy pay offered in other parts of the business.
An all-day picket of about 60 strikers took up a really good position outside the YP/YEP offices where two main roads meet. They got a very good response from workers driving past, showing their support by honking horns. Each day the picket ended with a rally at 4pm.
There are plans for further strikes if the threat of redundancies is not lifted.
A National Shop Stewards Network meeting in Leeds on 19 February agreed to publicise and raise funds for the dispute, after inviting one of the strike leaders to speak to the meeting.