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NUJ members to ballot on industrial action over compulsory redundancies

National Union of Journalists members at The Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald in Glasgow are to ballot on industrial action over job cuts at the titles.

The union says the company has gone back on an agreement to avoid compulsory redundancies, which has “left no option” but to invoke a ballot.

According to the union six sub-editors at the Evening Times have been selected for redundancy, and a consultation process is now underway.

One person affected has since volunteered to take redundacy, while the other five are appealing.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran told HoldtheFrontPage that notification of the ballot had been sent to Newsquest (Herald & Times) yesterday.

Management there must be given a week’s notice, after which ballot papers will be sent out to just under 300 NUJ members.

They will be asked if they would support strike action or industrial action short of a strike, with the result due on Friday, July 13.

Paul said: “Before I went on holiday three weeks ago there was an agreement with senior management that there would be no redundancies until after a new editorial production system was implemented in September.

“But when I came back I found that they had gone ahead with compulsory redundancy notices.

“We are left with no option but to ballot.”

The latest job cuts follow an announcement by the company earlier this year that it needed to make millions of pounds of savings because its advertising revenue forecast showed a “considerable gap” for the remainder of 2007.

Since than 20 staff have taken voluntary redundancy.