Timeline to strike

2007

August: Tindle Newspapers Ltd buy North London and Herts Newspapers, Yellow Advertiser and South London Press from Trinity Mirror Southern. Visit from the owner and stakeholders promises no changes to our process for a year.

2008

February: Two subeditors are hired bringing subbing back in-house during transition period.

Autumn: Proposals to close Enfield Gazette newspaper over lack of profit from publication and make one reporter redundant.

November: After letter writing campaign from readers a revised version of the Gazette is allowed to remain and one reporter is relocated to South London Press.

2009

Office manager is made redundant.

November: Senior reporter (WS) leaves, he is not replaced.

2010

March 5: Three Heralds launched (Winchmore Hill, Edmonton and East Barnet) concept is to launch our way out of the recession, with smaller hyperlocal papers to attract small business advertising. A freelance subeditor is hired to support editorial staff. Costs include additional print runs and distribution to pick up points.

May 7: Photographer (LY) last day – LY not replaced – chief photographer arranges for editorial to cope with two photographers by going mobile – can only be done by staff investing in their own equipment, work pay for mobile internet as expenses.

May 19: Union meeting to discuss increased workload and how non-replacement of staff is likely to impact editorial.

July 22: office meeting with editor - discuss how we can organise new regime so that everyone can meet their deadlines etc.

August 5: Publisher meets with editorial and advertising departments separately to say Heralds have been suspended for the school holiday period and that we must work together to produce revenue.

August 6: Meeting with publisher and advertising manager and senior editorial staff. Editorial staff pitch ideas including: photo specials (first day at school, nativity etc), pets’ corner, teenage modelling competition, voucher launch for restaurants across the three boroughs, specific magazine aimed at families, Thanks A Bunch florist feature, health and beauty features, competitions and more.

Given green light to do more research into teen model search and families supplement specifically and see what we can come up with. Report back to our editorial team who give extra input into ideas and contacts etc.

August 13: Meeting with publisher, update on model competition free venue arranged and other details in place. Briefed about the team’s ideas for features to go in new supplement which is targeting a wider advertising market rather than just Barnet, Enfield and Haringey.

August 19: Meeting with publisher to share editorial’s ideas on supplement and management’s costings for various options including paper type, frequency, number of pages etc.

August 23: Meeting with publisher and editorial team go-ahead to get started with the first eight-page supplement which is mostly compiled outside of work hours.

August 27: Meeting with publisher and senior sports reporter to pitch his idea for a male-orientated sports magazine to target gym, fitness and lifestyle market. Publisher likes the idea and suggests we run with it as a pick-up product.

September 14: Editor informed by publisher Barnet Press series in now going to have four editions to allow for targeted advertising on front pages.

September 24: Supplement meeting with publisher, editorial update on prizes secured, picture special and features to allow advertising to target customers.

October 2010: launch of annual Gannets restaurant awards.

October 21: First Familes In The Loop Supplement printed in centre of Barnet Press as a pull-out on heavier weighted and whiter paper.

October 27: Supplement Familes In The Loop printed in Enfield Advertiser – editorial disappointed to find it is on standard paper because of logistical reasons over costings

November 19: Senior reporter (NG) last day – not to be replaced so one senior reporter (KI) left to cover whole of Barnet (which now has four editionalised front pages and slip pages).

December 1 and 2: Christmas Familes In The Loop supplement goes to press in Enfield Advertiser and Barnet Press - 12 pages of events, gift guides, competitions, celeb Q&A. 

December 17:  Editorial meeting to discuss future plans. Chief subeditor to source competitions to try to fill gaps over busy period when we are short-staffed and chief photographer to continue to provide picture-rich ideas.

December 31: News editor leaves. Uncertainty over whether a news editor will be appointed continues until well into new year.

2011

January 5: Barry Fitzpatrick from the NUJ meets MD Brian Doel regarding situation at Enfield offices.

January 6: Editorial start informing advertising of competitions we are due to run to help boost their sales.

January 12: Senior reporter (NT) leaves. NUJ chapel meet to make urgent call on management to replace this reporter as soon as possible.

January 26 and 27: Families In The Loop: Happy New You Families supplement published.

February 2: ACAS meeting with Barry Fitzpatrick from the NUJ, Father of the Chapel and MD Brian Doel with regarding situation at Enfield offices.

February 23 and 24: Families In The Loop: Wedding supplement published.

March 8: Ballot result: all nine members of the NUJ vote in favour of strike or action short of strike.

March 9: ACAS meeting with Barry Fitzpatrick from the NUJ, Father of the Chapel and MD Brian Doel with regarding situation at Enfield offices, a statement is decided on which allows for a news editor to be internally promoted and wording is to be taken to April 8 board meeting of Tindle to “sympathetically” consider a fixed-term contract employment of a junior reporter and guarantee of replacement if more editorial staff leave.

March 30 and 31: Families In The Loop: Easter supplement published.

April 8: Tindle Newspapers Ltd board meeting.

April 11: Barry Fitzpatrick from the NUJ and Father of the Chapel meets MD Brian Doel who informs them that no replacement staff will be approved. Sir Ray Tindle arrives at Enfield offices to warn of cash crisis with total losses of £600,000 over past three years. Says he had a “dream” to re-examine “hyperlocal” business model before Royal Wedding.

April 12: NUJ serve seven days’ notice of strike action beginning April 19, for two three-day weeks.

April 18: Letter from publisher to nine NUJ members going on strike of potential restructuring during the two weeks of industrial action which could result in redundancies. A second letter informing staff they are losing ten days pay, including bank holidays.

April 19: Nine NUJ members start their strike.

April 20: Strike edition of the Haringey and Enfield Advertiser Series (without split front page editorial) is published. Mock funeral for the papers, Father of the Chapel interviewed on Jeremy Vine BBC Radio 2

April 21: Strike edition of the Barnet Press Series (without split front page editorial) and Enfield Gazette is published. Sir Ray Tindle visits Enfield office to give “Easter eggs” to working staff, most of strikers protesting outside South London Press office in Streatham where it is believed the newspapers are being produced.

April 27: Strike edition of the Haringey and Enfield Advertiser (without split front page editorial) is published.

April 28: Strike edition of the Barnet Press Series (without split front page editorial) and Enfield Gazette is published.  Last day of action mock street party opposite Tindle HQ in Farnham, Father of the Chapel and Sir Ray Tindle interviewed on BBC Surrey Breakfast with Nick Wallis. No offers of resolution on the table.

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