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REGIONAL journalists urged their bosses to wake up and stop treating staff with contempt before the start of a two-day strike this morning.
National Union of Journalists members at the daily Swindon Advertiser voted for industrial action in a dispute over low pay and working conditions.
The union has been engaged in talks over pay with executives of parent company Newsquest since November 2016.
But reps say they have been “stonewalled at every level” — even when the talks were brokered by conciliation service Acas.
A spokesman for the NUJ Swindon chapel said: “It is time for Newsquest to wake up and realise that highly skilled workers who have helped bring in bumper profits for the company will not work for peanuts while their workload continues to mount.
“We are utterly fed up of being treated with such contempt by Newsquest management, who have seen it fit to cut even more roles from our already diminished workforce.”
Last month Newsquest announced that the group web editor, news editor and three content managers based at Swindon were at risk of redundancy in a “restructure.”
NUJ national organiser Laura Davison said: “Everything is sacrificed to the bottom line — including the relationship with local readers, who are treated as free suppliers of content.”
A Newsquest spokeswoman told the Press Gazette: “We are disappointed that the NUJ has taken this stance and it seems they are not in touch with the real world and oblivious to the huge pressures on the economics of local newspapers.
“Despite the fact that Swindon’s revenues are declining by more than 10 per cent, the staff there received a pay increase just four months ago.”
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