'Local papers should be produced in the heart of the communities they serve' – Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary. Photograph: NUJ on Facebook
‘Local papers should be produced in the heart of the communities they serve’ – Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary. Photograph: NUJ on Facebook

Journalists from the York Press are to strike for 24 hours as bosses forge ahead with plans to axe jobs and produce parts of the newspaper in Wales.

Members of the National Union of Journalists plan to walk out on Tuesday, February 18. There will be simultaneous strikes at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus and the Northern Echo, based in Darlington.

Five jobs are at risk in York, and ten in both Bradford and Darlington.

As previously reported in YorkMix, management at Newsquest, the group which owns these titles, is planning to cut the sub-editors from Yorkshire and the North East and instead set up a subbing hub in Newport, Gwent.

News pages from the papers, and reports online, would be overseen by these journalists.

Newport is more than 180 miles from York.

“By now I suspect Newsquest realises the level of hostility and ill-feeling its reckless plans to export local journalism production to another country is generating,” said Chris Morley, the northern organiser for the NUJ.

‘Think positively’

He called for talks with the management at the conciliation service ACAS, and made a direct appeal to the man who takes over as Newsquest chief executive on April 1.

“I am now making a public appeal to Henry Faure Walker, the incoming chief executive, to show his staff he has a grip on reality and a willingness to think positively.

“I call on him to issue an immediate and complete moratorium to further work transferring from the regions to the Gwent subbing hub.”

NUJ members at the Press voted in favour of a strike by 83 per cent.

The union’s general secretary Michelle Stanistreet, said managers must take note.

“Newsquest, an American-owned company, clearly has no loyalty to its readers or staff,” she said.

“Local papers should be produced in the heart of the communities they serve, not more than 200 miles away in another country.”

YorkMix asked David Coates, regional managing director of Newsquest (North East), for a comment on Thursday, February 6. We have yet to hear back from him.

You can hear our previous conversation with Mr Coates’ PA here.