NUJ press release
Rotherham Advertiser announce strike action on 11 June
The NUJ chapel at the Rotherham Advertiser have agreed to take strike action on Thursday 11 June. The 24-hour walkout is in response to the decision by the new chief executive, Nick Alexander, to target the NUJ’s Father of Chapel (FoC) for compulsory redundancy. FoC Phil Turner has worked for the company for more than 30 years and is a long-serving trade union representative.
Phil is the only person who has been dismissed among editorial staff and was told on Wednesday 27 May. The union is appealing this decision and demanding the company withdraw the threat of redundancy immediately. The company have claimed the union has agreed to a selection skills matrix for redundancies but the NUJ has strongly refuted this assertion.
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “The chapel are steadfast in their desire to prevent a deep injustice, resist an attack on their chapel but also prevent the company doing damage to its own business.
“Our members have been forced to take this step because of the manoeuvrings of management to get rid of their FoC. It shows they will not look the other way but will stand up for what is right – in this they have the 100 per cent backing of the union nationally and the wider labour movement.
“It is highly regrettable that the company have publicly claimed that the skills matrix used to justify Phil Turner’s dismissal was ‘agreed’ by the chapel. This is an entirely false assertion and should be withdrawn immediately. Various points were raised with managers by members as part of the consultation process, but the company adopted these or not as they saw fit without any ‘agreement’.
“There is still time for the company to think again and I hope very much they do so that a sensible outcome can be arrived at. The NUJ is ready and willing to talk but it cannot be with this dismissal notice hanging over the FoC’s head.”
The union is urging NUJ members and supporters to contact the company in protest:
Please send respectful messages of protest to Rotherham Advertiser chief executive Nick Alexander and copy in the editor Andrew Mosley and HR officer Debbie Commander.