18 July 2002
Chronicle of woe
National Union of Journalists members at the Mirror-owned
Newcastle Chronicle and Journal have rejected a slightly improved
pay offer and will strike on Thursday 25 July and Thursday 1 August.
The chapel would obviously appreciate it if any freelances asked to
cover at these titles were unavailable. Any freelances who suffer hardship
while being unavailable should get in touch with the chapel: if you have
trouble contacting them, contact the Freelance.
The new proposals left most NUJ members receiving just 2 percent.
Trainees would start on £12,250 per year - compared to a reported average
graduate starting salary of £19,000.
The minimum rate for journalists with all their professional
qualifications, working on some of the UK's most prestigious regional titles
is £17,500 - less than £10 a week more than a McDonalds trainee manager on
their first day in the job.
Chronicle and Journal boss Steve Brown told a union meeting that Trinity
Mirror's profit margin - 25 percent of turnover - is not high enough. After
his speech only four NUJ members voted against strike action.
Supporters are asked to visit the picket line between 6am and 7pm at the
Groat Market, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
The strikers will need money. Please urge your union branch to hold a
meeting and send a donation. You could organise a whip-round in your
workplace. Individual donations are also welcome. Please make donations payable
to Newcastle NUJ Branch and send them to: 11 Trinity Courtyard, Newcastle, NE6 1TS
Messages of support can be a huge morale booster. Please take a few
seconds to email your support to the chapel (workplace branch) on
Feel free to send these details on to friends in the NUJ and wider labour