As an example of why members are in dispute: On the pre-strike pay
scales at Greater Manchester Weekly Newspapers, trainee journalists at the company started on as little as £10,486 per annum. The maximum anyone below a deputy editor could earn was £17,692. The situation is still as bad or worse in many other local newspaper groups.
According to research published in the Guardian in June 2001, the average starting salary for graduates in the traditionally low-paid retail and catering sectors is £17,000. Hence: "Do you want fries with that story?"