Journalists have threatened to walk out on strike over plans by a regional publisher to cut jobs.
Johnston Press wants to cut two chief photographer roles in Sheffield and Doncaster, and the equivalent of six full-time production roles ahead of the planned introduction of a new design process.
Members of the National Union of Journalists working for the Sheffield Star and sister paper the Telegraph fear the move will lead to compulsory redundancies.
Now the union says that unless it gets assurances that nobody will be forced to lose their job, it will ballot for industrial action.
Titles affected by the proposals include the two Sheffield papers, the Doncaster Free Press and Derbyshire Times.
A meeting is due to take place between managers and union representatives tomorrow in a bid to resolve the issue.
Chris Morley, the NUJ’s Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “The chapel decided that they would ballot if the company wasn’t able to give us a real assurance over compulsory job losses. We are meeting with them later this week.
“We have to have some tangible evidence that there are not going to be compulsory job losses.”
The cuts come after the Sheffield Telegraph editor and Star deputy editor were made redundant earlier this month.
Julia Armstrong, mother of chapel at the NUJ Sheffield Newspapers Chapel, said: “We already passed a motion of no confidence in our management after they axed one editor and deputy editor, because hard-pressed staff have to take on the work they do, and the latest redundancies were the last straw. The anger and demoralisation are huge.
“The company expects us to pay the price with our jobs for its poor investment decisions that have left it hock to the banks, who have just upped the interest rates on their loans. It’s getting so that people dread Fridays, as that’s when our MD keeps announcing job losses.”
It is understood eight production staff members are facing losing their jobs in total, five of whom work in Sheffield.
When he announced the proposed job cuts, John Bills, managing director of JP’s South Yorkshire and North Midlands business unit, said the company would attempt to minimise the impact through voluntary redundancy and re-deployment to alternative positions.
Johnston Press has declined to comment further.