Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Newsquest London and Newsquest South & West London NUJ chapel are pleased to announce we have reached an amicable agreement which has led to editorial staff ending all industrial action.

The agreement to replace vacancies that may occur over the next six months and to retain two extra editorial positions was accepted by a majority of union members.

Staff returned to work at Sutton and Twickenham this morning, Wednesday, June 29, after ending their work to rule and calling off the last two days of a four-day strike.

The agreement was reached following two days of meaningful negotiations which led to an agreement acceptable to both parties.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


I'm sorry I can't be with you today - I am up in Scotland - but I'm thinking of you and wishing you strength in your fight for jobs and quality journalism. Your action will be an inspiration to thousands of other journalists fighting the greed of corporate owners and standing up for journalists and journalism.
Hasta la victoria siempre

Jeremy Dear
General Secretary, NUJ


All the striking Questers have arrived at Quadrant House to protest against the cowboys wanting to cut our local papers down to nothing more than advertising rags.
We have had such a good response so far from people walking in to work.
Journalists are hard at work handing out leaflets and explaining what we are doing.
One passing bus driver even hooted his appreciation at our campaigning.
Everyone seems to have gotten into the spirit of the strike dressed up as cowboys to enforce our wildquest theme.
GMB and Unison unions have been down to show their support which is greatly appreciated.
And we have had a lot of support from our non striking colleagues at Newsquest.


Striking journalists from local Guardian newspapers will be turning Sutton and Twickenham into the Wild West this Wednesday and Thursday in protest at a new round of job cuts.
National Union of Journalists(NUJ) members will be dressing as cowboys to highlight a new round of redundancies announced by Newsquest South London, which will see the sports and leisure department closed and leave nine* people without jobs.
The demonstration, which will run between 8am and 5.30pm both days, will involve journalists picketing the Sutton and Twickenham offices and handing out leaflets in the centre of both towns.
News reporters have been told they will be required to take on the workload from the axed sports and leisure team, which the union has so far rejected.
Our NUJ chapel believes these redundancies will be seriously detrimental to the quality of our newspapers, which have already been cut in size and feature increasing amounts of advertising rather than editorial. 
The editorial department has offered Newsquest a new online revenue-generating idea, which is already being rolled out in Sutton and Twickenham, to help save the £210k Newsquest South London says it must cut from its annual budget.
In return our NUJ chapel has offered to call off the strike if the consultation period of those undergoing redundancy were to be extended until September 1, to allow time to see if the idea could make enough money to save their jobs. Management has turned down the offer. 
NUJ members are also working to rule over these redundancies, and will be doing so for as long as necessary.

Our ten titles are the Croydon Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Surrey Comet and Richmond & Twickenham Times.
Picket lines:
The Quadrant
Quadrant House
Allied House
29-39 London Road
*Nine people have been put forward for redundancy. However two of them are on a job share, so eight jobs are set to go.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Journalists at Newsquest in South London are on strike today and tomorrow (June 15 and 16) in a dispute over redundancies and in support of quality local journalism. NUJ members have already been working to rule, and the strike follows a massive vote for action.
How NUJ members and supporters can help:
- Email messages of support to the strikers
- Join the Facebook group 'Strike - Newsquest South London'
- Follow the strike on Twitter:
- Donate to the strike fund here
The NUJ strikers had previously adopted a unanimous vote of no confidence in their top management after a company decision to make an unspecified number of editorial staff redundant while the group's titles continue to make substantial profits.
NUJ general secretary-elect Michelle Stanistreet said: "Newsquest journalists are fighting for their communities and their jobs. It is time that Newsquest got the message that readers need their newspapers and the NUJ defends members and the quality journalism they provide."
NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick said: "Our members' overwhelming decision to take strike action in defence of jobs and quality was the inevitable result of a wrong-headed management policy. But it is not too late for the company to show some sense and sit down with us to discuss the future security of the papers which are so important to our members and their communities."   
Newsquest London has announced job cuts at the Croydon Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Surrey Comet, Sutton Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian and Richmond & Twickenham Times.
In 2009 Newsquest recorded an operating profit of £71.7m. 


We've been receiving messages of support from NUJ members and members of other unions all over the country. We would like to say thanks and show you some of those messages:

Dear Newsquest South London, we would like to wish you all the best on your 48-hour strike tomorrow.
We are just going through our third round of redundancies in two-and-a-half years.
This time the production of our weekly papers is being moved to Bradford, 90 miles away, and we are losing seven journalists in the processs on a "voluntary" basis.
Our chapel went on strike for two days in January in protest at the previous round of redundancies.
Although the action did not stop the loss of two journalists then, it gave us a voice and we were able to make known to the public our concerns about the impact on the quality of our papers. 
The very best of luck!

Jackie Craft, joint Mother of Chapel, on behalf of  Darlington NUJ Chapel, North-East