Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southern Daily Echo journalists strike for second time

Daily Echo staff on strike on Tuesday
Image caption Members of the NUJ at the Southampton paper make up about 75% of the editorial staff

Staff at the Southern Daily Echo newspaper have started a second 48-hour strike over pay and pensions.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at the Southampton title voted in favour of industrial action.

It follows a two-day walkout in November over a pay freeze and the closure of the final salary pension scheme at the Newsquest-owned title.

Editor-in-chief Ian Murray said the title remained committed to producing newspapers and supporting jobs.

Editorial staff at the Newsquest-owned Brighton Argus newspaper have also started a two-day walkout over plans to relocate its sub editors to Southampton, where the title is now printed.

'Proud of paper'

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said a decision had been taken after a meeting with management at the Echo, based in Test Lane, Redbridge, ended with no offer being made to staff.

Members of the NUJ at the Southampton paper - who make up about 75% of the editorial staff - previously went on strike for two days on 9 and 10 November.

Sally Churchward, secretary of the Southern Daily Echo chapel, said: "Our members were very keen to come to an agreement to avoid further industrial action but unfortunately all of our suggestions - such as a one-off payment for staff - were refused and no offer was made by management.

"Staff at the Echo are very proud of the paper and do not wish to harm it or its reputation but we feel that we have no choice but to stand up against ongoing unfair treatment."

At the time of the first strike the newspaper said industrial action had not affected publication.

Mr Murray told the BBC News website: "We are disappointed that some staff have decided to take industrial action but we remain committed to producing newspapers and supporting jobs here in our Southampton headquarters."

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