Journalists at the NZ Herald are on strike again, this time for four days.
They walked out at 10am this morning over the breakdown in their employment agreement negotiations. They are not expected to return to work before 10am on Saturday.
The journalists are angry that their employer is trying to deny many of them the right to choose to be covered by the collective agreement.
They are also concerned by management’s refusal to guarantee that they won’t be forced to write advertising copy, a move which would contravene the journalists’ code of ethics.
The strike is the fourth by Herald journalists and follows of a 13-hour strike by journalists at the national news agency NZPA on Sunday.
And journalists, printers and other staff at the daily newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch-controlled INL will take action on Thursday as the company’s shareholders meet in Wellington to discuss the Todd Corporation Sky share transfer.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that all three disputes were fundamentally about the same thing – an employee’s right to choose how he or she wants to be represented and for that choice to be respected by the employer.
“What’s going on at all three of these major employers appears to be part of a newspaper industry campaign to undermine the Employment Relations Act,” he said.
“The Government was elected on a platform of industrial relations reform and this is a direct challenge to that.”