Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southern Daily Echo staff call off second strike

Editorial staff at the Southern Daily Echo newspaper have called off a second 48-hour strike over pay and pensions.

More than 40 staff, who are members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), were due to strike on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Southampton-based staff first walked out on 9 and 10 November over a pay freeze and the closure of the final salary pension scheme.

Editor-in-chief Ian Murray said management had invested in jobs.

The NUJ said it had called off the strike in the hope that management at the newspaper group Newsquest would enter into negotiations over pay.

The union said pay had been frozen at the paper since July 2008 and staff had not received individual pay rises for length of service.

Last week reporters, sub-editors, feature writers and photographers carried banners and placards outside the paper's offices in Test Lane, Redbridge.

David Brine, NUJ representative at the Southern Daily Echo, said: "Last week's strike was a last resort after months of fruitless negotiations.

"Members felt there is no alternative but now we are offering management another chance to negotiate with us."

Mr Murray said the previous strike had not affected the production of any of its newspapers.

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