Messages of support were received from all over the world - especially the USA where the Newspaper Guild made the strike the top story on their
website. You can read it by visiting:
www.newsguild.org Newsquest is owned by the American media giant Gannett.
More than £3000 was banked into the strike fund this morning.
On the day before the strike management made a fresh offer.
The minimum trainee rate is to be raised from £10,500 to £12,000. The
chapel (workplace branch) asked for this in August and it was dismissed out
of hand. The offer finally came 17 hours before the strike was due to start
- proving that when members stick together arguments can be won. This was
agreed as a step forward.
The company also promised to either "consider" or "look at" improvements
to sick pay and holiday entitlement, and the introduction of proper pay
bands. The firm also said they could see no reason for any compulsory
redundancies this year. There was no move on the 2.5 percent pay offer.
At a lunchtime meeting the union members agreed to reconvene in the
evening - and in the interim asked the company to firm up its "considerings"
into real offers and to increase the pay offer to 4 percent - the average
pay rise in the UK last year.
The company replied that they were serious about considering things - but
no change was made to the wording of the offer. The chapel voted by 29 votes
to nil, with one abstention, to carry on with the strike. The firm has
always claimed less than 20 people supported the action.
In the week leading up the strike management hardened union members'
resolve with a series of ill conceived actions. Young reporters were taken
into rooms by a senior manager and told in a one-to-one that their careers
would be over if they went on strike; although the stoppage only lasted
until two o'clock bosses declared that they would dock a whole day's pay and
said anyone returning to work would do so on a voluntary basis;
strike-breakers were told they would be paid a bonus; and a memo was put out
telling other staff that they should prepare for violence on the day of the
In the event everyone went back together at two o'clock; the most
threatening action was handing free balloons to passing children; and the
chapel collected enough money to pay strikers a bonus.
You can make a difference
The next planned strike is on Friday January 25. The chapel will need
your encouragement again. Please send congratulations about the success of
yesterday's action and solidarity messages to
firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com
Money is still needed to see our members through next week's action.
Please organise a workplace collection as it will help to strengthen your
organisation as well as support the Bradford strikers. Chapel leaders in
Sheffield and Rotherham have pledged to hold weekly whiprounds. Cheques
should be made payable to "Newsquest Bradford NUJ Chapel" and sent to 22,
Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JQ.
Send polite protests marked for the attention of Newsquest chief
executive Paul Stevenson to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to 020 8640 8989.
(The previously advertised email didn't work!)