After a final hour threat from management last night to “restructure” in the next two weeks, while we are off on strike, the Enfield Nine stood firm in their resolution to stand up in defence of good quality journalism.
Our strike started at 8.30am outside our offices in Enfield Town, where no dissenting journalists or strike breakers crossed the line and we warmly urged advertising and distribution staff to join our picket line – none did, however we believe some were there in spirit.
Within the first hour freelance photographers and Jess Hurd from the NUJ Photographers Branch, Mary from Central London Branch and members from the Socialist Worker arrived to report and support our cause. We handed out leaflets to staff at other businesses in our office block and took a wander to Enfield Town station to catch straggling commuters.
Soon outgoing NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear and his successor Michelle Stanistreet as well as Barry Fitzpatrick, who has been leading out negotiations with Tindle’s MD Brian Doel during ACAS meetings, were joining us in song – composed by our sub-editor James Lowe.
A former subeditor Tom Davies joined us on the picket line and former union member at the Express Les O’Sullivan helped us distributed leaflets in the scorching heat of Enfield Town.
Enfield Labour councillor Bambos Charalambous also showed up and freelance press officer for Enfield Council Andy Keeling (of Keeling Communications) engaged our publisher Alison Cruse over the strike as she returned from her lunch break.
This evening our FoC Jonathan Lovett and chief photographer Anne-Marie Sanderson visited members of the NUJ Birmingham and Coventry Branch to explain the year-long negotiations we have been in with Tindle Newspapers that has led to this two-week strike. They made a kind and generous donation to our cause.
Today has been a good start to our strike, but we want tomorrow to be even better.We hope those reading this blog can join us on our demonstration from our offices in Refuge House, 9-10 River Front, Enfield, EN1 3SZ from 12noon tomorrow (Wed 20). We will be holding a funeral procession mourning the loss of quality local newspapers for Enfield, Barnet and Haringey.
Please come out and support us.