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Enfield


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From: The Socialist issue 668, 27 April 2011: Fight the cuts: Vote for a socialist alternative

Search site for keywords: NUJ - Jobs - Journalists - Enfield - Anti-cuts

Striking for jobs

Paul Kershaw

Around 100 people followed a funeral cortege, complete with incense, a coffin and the grim reaper to mark the 'near death' of north London and Hertfordshire newspapers in the Tindle group.

Nine members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) began a series of two-day strikes on 19 April, protesting at the failure to replace staff when they leave. "Just three reporters are churning out nine newspapers every week" said the NUJ father of chapel, Jonathan Lovett. "The current Tindle business plan threatens to let once award-winning newspapers dwindle and die".

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ deputy general secretary, spoke to pickets on the first day of the strike: "I've come here today to show support for our union members bravely standing up to say 'enough is enough' and that the communities they serve deserve better...

"If Sir Ray [Tindle] has the commitment he says he has to quality local journalism he should maintain staffing levels that allow journalists to do their job - we need more than lip service."

As solidarity messages highlighted, many other papers face a slide into 'churnalism' with reporters stuck in the office reproducing press handouts rather that going out to investigate. On the eve of their action the Enfield Nine workers were issued letters warning that redundancies could be made in the near future but they say this has only galvanised them into fighting for the future of their papers.

The strikers and supporters marched from the papers' offices to the centre of Enfield on 20 April at lunchtime. Speakers included anti-cuts campaigners and members of the community who spoke of the need to know what is happening in their community.

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