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Industrial strife sees troubled Tribune revival

LONDON – The return of industrial strife to the UK looks as if it might secure future of the troubled left-wing weekly magazine Tribune, which has been desperately seeking to raise cash for months.

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The resurgence of the left-wing trade unions led by the striking firefighters' union, the FBU, and the militant train drivers' union, the RMT, has renewed interest in the paper, which has long been critical of Tony Blair and New Labour.

Tribune chairman Peter Kilfoyle and editor Mark Seddon are said to be close to putting the finishing touches to a rescue package, which will see a number of left-wing unions invest around £270,000.

Earlier this year, Tribune hired Tim Pendry PR to advise on efforts to save the financially threatened weekly, which was initially founded 65 years ago to support anti-fascists in the Spanish Civil War.

The paper is currently run as a collective, but following its dire financial position a board meeting earlier this year agreed that the paper needed a major cash injection in order to survive. One of the options discussed was selling the paper outright.

Former Tribune editor and Labour party leader Michael Foot has also been involved in efforts to raise funds to save the magazine.

Tribune was relaunched in April 2001, which saw it change its format from a newspaper to a magazine similar in style to New Statesman. However, this move failed to boost sales.

Tribune has a circulation of around 9,000 and employs eight staff on reduced salaries of around £15,000 a year.

Tribune editor Mark Seddon recently said: "We have had to take this extraordinary step because we are simply unable to market what many of us think is a much-improved paper."

NHS founder Aneurin Bevan and George Orwell, who was for a while the paper's literary editor, are among some of the famous names who have written for the paper in the past.

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