On the eve of the Newsquest South London strike action starting tomorrow, Thursday 13 October, the union continues to shine a light on the barbaric work practices and conditions journalists suffer at the company.
Newsquest is the second largest local and regional newspaper publisher in the UK, answering to its US parent company Gannett. Newsquest is driving down standards, terms and conditions at work for journalists. The company is making life a misery for its employees whilst continuing to maximise profits for bosses and shareholders.
Newsquest’s latest company accounts in 2014 show Newsquest made £60 million before tax. Newsquest's 2015 accounts, audited by Ernst and Young, are now 12 days overdue. Last summer the company reluctantly agreed to pay the London Living Wage following the NUJ chapel’s last bout of strike action. Some of the people working for Newsquest today have decided to leave before they are pushed out the door. They have decided to speak out about what is happening and the following quotes from two reporters and an editor show how dire the situation has become in South London.
Commenting on news the under-fire tax credits contractor Concentrix is to lay off 150 staff, Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said:
"This goes to the heart of the problem with privatisation and outsourcing, with HMRC setting payment by results targets for companies like Concentrix then seeking to wash its hands of responsibility.
“The private firms then feel they have been given the green light to mistreat staff and keep them dangling on short term contracts. This kind of work should be done in-house, with any existing employees' jobs protected."