DGS praises strikers’ inspiration

NUJ deputy general secretary Michelle Stanistreet praised the energy and dedication of the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post journalists when she spoke at a picket line rally this afternoon.

Michelle said: “Your ballot was one of the highest votes in favour of action that we’ve had in the union’s history.”

The rally came towards the end of 10 hours’ picketing and started with specially-written strike songs by Leeds band ShakinOuts.

Michelle also put the rally and strike in perspective. While journalists were losing their jobs, the fight was a wider one, she said, all part of the NUJ’s campaign to show that “Journalism Matters”.

“The battle is for the future of a democratic, properly-resourced media,” she said.

Nearly 150 journalists plus supporters from other trade unions, the Leeds Trades Council and the Yorkshire & Humber TUC turned out for the afternoon event.

Yorkshire Evening Post FoC Pete Lazenby had previously told the rally of messages of support received from journalists working at the Derbyshire Times, the Financial Times, BBC Monitoring, the NUJ’s London-based press and PR branch, BBC Radio Sheffield, the Rotherham Advertiser, branches and chapels in East Yorkshire, Bradford and York.

A message of support had also been received from Napo – the National Association of Probation Officers – some of whose members in West Yorkshire also face redundancy.

Disabled representatives of the Access Committee for Leeds were also thanked for coming along for two hours this morning to help hand out leaflets to passers-by.

Yorkshire author GP Taylor had also contacted the chapel with a message of encouragement.

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