Strikes at Reach plc - and and watch out in Scotland

FREELANCES should watch out for news of strikes or other industrial action at newspapers owned by Reach plc, over a miserly three per pay offer. On 12 August 2022 the NUJ announced that 79 per cent of Reach staff balloted supported strike action, on a turnout of 70 per cent of 1093 members.

Chris Morley, NUJ Reach national coordinator, said: "The NUJ is ready and willing to achieve a negotiated settlement. But for that to happen, the company will need to understand that our members are prepared to stand up and be counted and are not willing to merely accept the crumbs off the millionaires' table." Should the company not respond properly, strike action is due:

  • From 00:01 hours on 26 August 2022 until 23:59 hours on 26 August 2022;
  • from 00:01 hours on 31 August 2022 until 23:59 hours on 31 August 2022; and
  • from 00:01 hours on 14 September 2022 until 23:59 hours on 15 September 2022.

Reach plc newspapers include the Express and Mirror titles and many local newspapers. We will publicise picket lines when we know. Members will also carry out action short of a strike - consisting of a "work to rule" - from 00:01 hours on 01 September 2022 until 23:59 hours on 13 September 2022.

Meanwhile members may have to strike at National World titles including the Scotsman and regional papers such as the Edinburgh Evening News, Scotland on Sunday, the Falkirk Herald and Milngavie and Bearsden Herald. NUJ national organiser for Scotland, John Toner, said:

"Compulsory redundancies are a red line for our members, and we applaud their principled stance. It should go without saying, but we would prefer to resolve this dispute without the need for industrial action. There is still time for the employer to consider applications for voluntary redundancy that have been made and avoid the need to force our members out of their jobs."

The Freelance notes that freelances cannot, in law, strike: but we would not be surprised if any freelance called upon to work for Reach on relevant dates found themselves to be unavailable.

Please check back here and at www.nuj.org.uk/news for news of strike dates and other possible action.

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