More than 100 National Union of Journalists members took strike action on 25 July and 1 August at the Trinity Mirror-owned Newcastle Chronicle and Journal series as part of their fight for a fair wage.
Under the latest proposals graduate trainees at the group will start on £12,250 per year - compared to a reported (in the Daily Mirror) average graduate starting salary of £19,000. The minimum rate for journalists is £17,500.
Chronicle and Journal boss Steve Brown told the journalists union, the NUJ, that Trinity Mirror's profit margin - 25 percent of turnover - is not high enough to cover paying staff a decent salary. Mr Brown has 116,738 Trinity Mirror share options. For the last year when accounts are available the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal made an operating profit of £13.2 million on a turnover of £52 million.
A further two-day strike is planned for 9-10 August. A rally will be held at 12 noon on Saturday 10 August at the Groat Market in Newcastle-on-Tyne city centre. The action is biting hard at the Sunday Sun which was due to be relaunched on Sunday. Management has decided to cut 16 pages from the planned size of the paper.
Please make donations payable to Newcastle NUJ Branch and send them to 11, Trinity Courtyard, Newcastle, NE6 1TS. Individual donations are welcome.
The NUJ have prepared an email letter for Piers Morgan, editor of the Chronicle and Journal's sister paper, the oh so socially conscious Daily Mirror which has yet to cover this story, asking him to do so. The letter can be found at. He's on firstname.lastname@example.org
Or why not send a polite message to Chronicle and Journal managing director Steve Brown to ask him why the journalists are paid so little when the papers make a huge profit. His secretary is on email@example.com
The strikers also need money. Please urge your union branch to hold a meeting and send a donation. Please make donations payable to Newcastle NUJ Branch and rush them to 11, Trinity Courtyard, Newcastle, NE6 1TS. Individual donations are welcome.
Other NUJ pay disputes
NUJ members at the Rotherham Advertiser have voted 77 percent for strike action and 92 percent for industrial action short of a strike after rejecting a 2.3 percent pay rise.
NUJ magazine journalists at EMAP (Greater London House) are balloting for industrial action following the breakdown of pay talks. The titles affected by the dispute made a £30 million profit but journalists are being offered less than the rate of inflation. This is the first magazine chapel to join the battle against low pay. Please email messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org