THE Enfield Nine returned to work this week after two weeks of intense strike action.
At 8.30am on Tuesday morning we convened in a local cafe, which has become an unofficial strike HQ for us, and proudly walked back into our office, united as always, with our heads held high.
We half-expected letters to be waiting for us on our desks or an instant summons from Tindle management but instead we were met with wave upon wave of… silence.
Tindle is, indeed, a peculiar beast. Throughout the strike action we hardly received a peep from them and even now I had to request a meeting with our publisher and managing director to find out what on earth was happening with this veiled threat of “redundancies” and “restructuring” which was stated in a letter received from them on the eve of our action.
As was to be expected neither had anything of significance to say and I was fobbed off with a vague promise that there would be announcements in “due course”. A huge part of the problem is that the group is run by one man, Sir Ray Tindle, who seems to make all of the crucial decisions so, unsurprisingly, his subordinates continually fudge, duck and sidestep perhaps because they are as genuinely in the dark as we are.
So we continued with the day-to-day in a weird kind of limbo land, punctuated by uplifting evening meetings such as addressing the NUJ’s Press and PR branch who presented us with a generous donation and inspired us with warm words of support and solidarity. Once again, the support from across not just the industry, but from trade unions and individuals across the country, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of our strike and it further reiterates that our cause is just and right.
With little reaction from senior management – and only a vague promise of a meeting – it is once again up to us to take the initiative and take the fight to them in the hope of reversing their suicidal policy of non-replacement of staff. Various options are being considered this weekend and whatever happens Tindle is naive to think it is just business as normal at North London & Herts Newspapers. Watch this space…
Father of the Chapel