European Backing for Strike by UK Journalists

The European Federation of Journalists today gave its full support to a strike by journalists in the North of England.

Leading newspapers owned by the Newsquest company in Bradford will be hit by a series of strikes beginning next Wednesday after union leaders rejected a pay offer by management. "The decision by journalists to strike is never easy, but in the face of a derisory pay offer in one of Britain's most poorly-paid areas of journalism it is hardly surprising," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists in Brussels.

The European Federation of Journalists, which represents more than 200,000 journalists in Europe, says that the strike reflects a mood of resistance among journalists and media staff throughout European media over cutbacks and low pay.

"Recent disputes in Belgium and Greece show that journalists are not willing to be treated as second class employees," said the European Federation of Journalists, " We are urging our affiliates throughout Europe to back the colleagues in the UK."

Journalists at Newsquest voted to take strike action on three days this month following a management pay offer of just 2.5 per cent. They are supported by the National Union of Journalists in UK and Ireland.

"We know that wages for local newspaper journalists are scandalously low," said Aidan White, "journalist working at Newsquest in Bradford earn on average 20 percent less than the official UK average wage. This dispute is important to win if we are to combat the scourge of poverty wages in European journalism."