Journalists at the Leicester Mercury are being balloted over whether to take strike action on pay.
The National Union of Journalists said the vote was related to a sub-inflation pay offer.
Members are being given a choice of two options – vote for full strike action or industrial action short of a strike.
Chris Morley, NUJ North and Midlands organiser, said: “It would be up to the chapel what they deem appropriate action.
“This could be anything from strike action to working your contracted hours, withdrawal of goodwill or making sure screen breaks are taken.
“What we ideally want is the company to come back to the negotiating table with a sensible proposal and I hope they do it sooner rather than later.
“The chapel is in a very determined mood.”
NUJ members at the Mercury have two weeks to submit their vote in a postal ballot launched yesterday.
Mercury editor Nick Carter said he was disappointed at the stance taken by the union and was available to talk at any time.
The union is claiming that the editor rejected all the points on the newly-recognised chapel’s annual pay claim.
And it said the talks broke down three weeks ago when management offered a three per cent across-the-board sum.
The figure comes after a salary award last year that averaged out at 2.6 per cent, according to NUJ figures.
The Leicester Mercury chapel, which has more than 40 members, won collective bargaining rights last December after a successful formal recognition ballot.
Chris added: “The company has badly misjudged the mood of the chapel. Members are in no mind to accept second best.”
He claimed pay rises staggered throughout the year for individual staff members led to a “secret and shabby” system on pay deals.
“While the chapel is ready to talk at any time if the company comes forward with positive proposals, I am confident NUJ members will back the call for action,” he said. Do you have a story about the regional press?
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