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Strike ballots at more papers

Journalists could go on strike at Wales’s biggest newspaper in a bid to win union recognition for the National Union of Journalists.

Union members are balloting after three years of failed efforts to agree a recognition deal with management at the Western Mail & Echo.

A chapel meeting unanimously decided to ask national officers to organise the vote for staff at the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and Celtic Newspaper weekly series.

Management currently has a recognition deal with the Amicus union – but it does not cover journalists.

The 130-strong chapel also called on national officers to seek intensive negotiations with local management with a view to achieving an acceptable recognition agreement.

An NUJ spokesman said: “We have held talks with management and Amicus officials but they have resulted in only limited progress, with fundamental issues surrounding pay and conditions and the potential for industrial action in the future remaining major obstacles.

“It is with great reluctance that members have agreed to a ballot for industrial action.”

The company’s five representatives on the company’s works forum and its sub committees resigned earlier this year in protest at the lack of progress.

  • A strike ballot is under way at the Rotherham Advertiser over pay after a company offer of a 2.3 per cent increase. The chapel is claiming ten per cent.
  • Journalists at the Liverpool Post & Echo Weekly Newspaper Group – including the Anfield & Walton Star, West Derby & Tuebrook Merseymart, South Liverpool Merseymart, Huyton & Roby Star, Maghull & Aintree Star, Bootle Times and Crosby Herald – may also ballot next week as they look to increase pay. The NUJ is involved with the company’s working committee on pay grading but its progress may not be enough to dissuade a vote on possible industrial action.

    Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
    e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk