Scoop, Scab, Strike choice as Gazette votes to take industrial action

Journalists at the Thurrock Gazette and The Echo have voted in favour of strike action.

The industrial action will consist of a two-week work to rule, commencing on Monday January 30. Following this action there will be a three-day strike commencing on Monday February 13.

Members of the chapel (union) voted overwhelmingly in favour of the strike action on the grounds that the company had introduced yet another pay freeze.

Newsquest Essex journalists have had only one two per cent pay increase in the last four years. Staff were due a pay rise in January this year but were told this would not be given and would be reviewed again in June, but the company will not guarantee that any pay rises will be given then.

Mother of the Chapel Sally King said: “No one wants to take this action.

“It is a reflection of the deep disappointment and genuine concern that members have about their ability to pay bills that they voted this way.

“By freezing pay – and even when a rise is offered keeping it well below inflation – it seems members of staff are being penalised for their loyalty.”

The chapel is also disappointed to hear management has told non-unionised members of editorial teams at the Echo and its sister papers the, Colchester Gazette, Thurrock Gazette and Chelmsford and Brentwood Weekly News, that they will be awarded overtime payments for working 10-hour shifts during the strike action.

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