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20th November 2015

FT Journalists Delay Strike Action

Strike action from FT journalists against new owners Nikkei has been put on hold.

FT journalists had planned to strike on the day Nikkei completes its take-over of the title, which is due to be at the end of November 2015.

Staff were planning to strike as Nikkei had proposed cuts to pensions benefits for FT staff in the final salary scheme.

A proposed cut of £4M a year to the FT final salary pension scheme had been laid out, but this has now been delayed for one year.

Following an FT Group NUJ meeting, a spokesperson said: "The near 92 per cent ‘yes’ to strike action in today's ballot result shows the strength of the anger felt by FT editorial staff over pensions cuts and highlights the unity between all members, whether they are in the final pay or defined contribution pension sections.

“We note management's proposal to restore £4m to the pension budget for one year but we believe that a longer term solution remains vital to bring security to FT Group journalists.

“We welcome this short-term concession but pensions are long-term benefits and we would look to management to come forward with a substantive offer that gives staff the equivalence they were promised at the start of the process.

“In light of the climate of serious mistrust of FT executives over broken promises, we will keep the option of industrial action on the table. We call on Nikkei to join us round the negotiating table as a way of breaking the log-jam.”

A spokesperson for the FT said: "We are disappointed that the NUJ has not agreed to withdraw the threat of industrial action when there are ongoing consultations and sincere efforts to work toward a negotiated agreement underway, including a significantly improved pensions offer to staff.

"While we do not take lightly any discontent amongst our employees, we must find the right balance between individual benefits (those who voted in the ballot represent a small minority of staff) and the sustainable financial future of the FT, for the benefit of all."
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