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Industrial action called off in Glasgow

All industrial action at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times in Glasgow has been called off.

The move comes after the National Union of Journalists and Newsquest (Herald & Times Group) management agreed to open talks on the introduction of a new editorial production system, which is due to be implemented in September.

The long-running dispute had entered its third week of industrial action, after union members objected to the proposed compulsory redundancy of a sub-editor.

In a statement, Herald & Times managing director Tim Blott said: “If it is established that the new system may lead to redundancies, then the parameters of the talks will begin with the previously agreed process. This will entail seeking volunteers, early retirements, re-training, re-deployment and any other alternative before discussing the possibility of demands for compulsory redundancies.”

The agreement came on Friday as NUJ members at the Sunday Herald prepared to walk-out as part of industrial action which would also have seen them stay away from their desks on Saturday. Evening Times staff were in the midst of a one-day walkout.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran told holdthefrontpage that all industrial action had been suspended after it was agreed to begin talks on Tuesday.

This means that, at least for now, there will be no compulsory redundancies.

There has been some suggestion that the new editorial production system could result in 50 posts at the group being made redundant, but Paul said no official figures had yet been put forward and that the union was waiting to see what the new system could do.

He said: “This is brilliant news. I’m delighted. We are where we hoped we would be back in June.”