Belfast Telegraph

Newspaper deliveries to newsagents will be hit by 24-hour distribution strikes

Workers who deliver newspapers to newsagents across the UK are to stage two 24-hour strikes in a row over pay.

Members of Unite at Menzies Distribution will walk out from 11pm on September 23 and from 7pm on the 26th.

The union warned the action would hit newspaper deliveries, especially in Scotland and the South East of England, but the company said it had contingency plans.

The union said an imposed offer saw wages rise to £7.25 an hour, 5p above the new national living wage, while workers now just get basic pay for bank holidays.

There will also be a continuous overtime ban starting on September 23.

Unite national officer Ian Tonks said: "For the first time ever our members working for Menzies Distribution are taking strike action - a sign of their strong rejection of the pitiful pay offer.

"The strikes will cause severe disruption to the distribution of newspapers and magazines to newsagents and railway stations, particularly in the south east and Scotland."

A company spokesman said: "Menzies Distribution management representatives have been engaged in ongoing meetings with Unite regarding the current dispute over pay and conditions, which involves approximately 300 union members out of the company's 2,800 employees.

"A revised and final offer, which we believe is a fair one given market conditions, was made to the union with the aim of resolving this dispute.

"Menzies Distribution has robust contingency plans in the event that any industrial action by the union goes ahead over the coming weeks, and we remain confident that no disruption to services will be experienced by retailers or publishers."