Working relations at the strike torn Daily Echo, which also produces Eastleigh News Extra and Eastleigh Borough News, have worsened with NUJ members to be balloted on further strike action.
The striking Journo’s have been angered to discover that the management are rewarding workers who did not take part in the walk outs with ‘Loyalty payments’ – double time for working on strike days.
NUJ members of the editorial staff have so far taken part in two 48 hour stoppages in protest at an ongoing two year pay freeze, closure of a final salary pension scheme and the suspension of bonus payments.
Although a meeting had been arranged to negotiate a settlement, Editor Ian Murray pre-empted the talks by announcing management were not prepared to move their position.
One reporter who did not wish to be named, told Eastleigh News,
“Up to now working relations have remained good, but if this latest move is supposed to make us reconsider pursuing our claim, it has had the opposite effect – people here are incensed to be branded as disloyal after working for two years without a pay rise’
Some junior members of staff have received messages from management saying the editor is ‘disappointed’ by their participation in a democratically arranged and legal protest.
The editor is acting like a Roman Emperor sat in judgement at an amphitheatre, hand outstretched, thumb wavering.”
The NUJ chapel at the Daily Echo have released a statement saying:
“The NUJ, at both a local and national level, continues to seek a resolution to the dispute but it appears that management at the paper is more interested in creating divisions among staff than returning to business as usual.”