NUJ Protest over Sunday Tribune Closure

DUBLIN branch of the NUJ is organising a symbolic protest outside the offices of the Sunday Tribune newspaper tomorrow (Thursday February 24th) to mark the closure of the newspaper.

The protest begins at 1.15pm and will be followed by a meeting in support of the redundant workers. The meeting will take place at O’Sheas hotel, 19 Talbot Street, Dublin 1 (corner of Talbot Street and Gardiner Street). Assemble outside the offices at 27-32 Talbot Street, from 1.00pm.

Staff are due to receive their final pay cheques tomorrow, following the announcement by Receiver Jim Luby that he has been unable to secure a purchaser for the newspaper. Workers will receive only statutory redundancy from the Insolvency Payments Scheme. The NUJ is calling on Independent News and Media Plc to make provision for ex gratia payments to Sunday Tribune workers cast aside as a result of the decision to pull the plug on funding for the newspaper.

Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary is awaiting a response from the company for a request for the meeting. The Irish Secretary is encouraging all members who can attend tomorrow’s demonstration to do so.

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear called on members to support the branch initiative. On behalf of the union Mr Dear paid tribute to the hundreds of journalists who had contributed to building the reputation of the Sunday Tribune as a quality newspaper.

He said: “We should express solidarity with the workers at the Sunday Tribune and remind Independent News and Media of the moral obligation which rests with the INM board. The investment in the Sunday Tribune was a strategic decision aimed at thwarting competition to other titles in the Sunday market. Now that it has been decided that it no longer fulfills this purpose the newspaper is being cast aside. We are renewing our call to the board of INM to make appropriate arrangements for payment of sums similar to those paid in other redundancy situations.

In the case of the Star Sunday Ireland workers received ex gratia payments and we feel a similar approach should be taken in the case of the Sunday Tribune.”

Dublin branch Chair Martin Fitzpatrick said: “The loss of the Sunday Tribune is a major blow to democracy and diminishes political discourse. The timing of the closure, coinciding with the General Election, has served to underline the loss of a quality Sunday newspaper at a time when the public is seeking informed analysis and a diverse perspective.”