It’s been… emotional.
Two weeks of strike action, 6,000 leaflets handed out, 48 articles (and counting) written about us, two BBC radio interviews, hundreds of letters in support, countless hours of labour, nine journalists.
All because management would not give us just one more reporter – on a fixed term contract of just a year, no less – to help us out with the ridiculous workload that has meant three reporters churning out nine newspapers for our much-abused readers.
But, after all those facts and figures, what have we actually achieved? Tindle management has not, as yet, agreed to one concession after nearly 12 months of negotiation… will they do so now? We can only hope these two intense weeks will help focus their minds as they are forced to realise the massive groundswell of support for our campaign indicates that we are right and they are wrong.
But besides from that we have also achieved something invaluable: self-respect. I am so proud of the Enfield Nine. Adam, Anne-Marie, James, Kim, Liz, Lucy, Lee and Mary have all stood up for themselves and our beleaguered profession. They have put their necks on the line and by so doing have gained enormous respect in our industry and in many trade union movements across the country.
Our union, the NUJ, in particular has taken note and provided excellent support because they see us as the frontline in a battle not just for papers in north London but the newspaper industry as a whole.
So, we go back to work on Tuesday with our heads held high in a far stronger position than we were in before. And, if we still can’t make management see sense, then we have every right to strike again… because what we are doing is not just for ourselves but for every journalist in every newspaper group which places quantity before quality, churnalism over journalism, the bottom line over you… the reader.
Yours in solidarity,
Father of the Chapel