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Newspaper staff vote in favour of strike over possible jobs cut

National Union of Journalists members at Sheffield Newspapers have voted in favour of strike action.

The NUJ says 68pc of its members at The Star and sister weeklies said yes to some sort of action in a dispute with Johnston Press management.

It has not yet been decided whether any actual strike action will take place and staff could choose either full industrial action or action short of a strike.

This could be only working contracted hours or ensuring full breaks are taken.

The ballot was taken in response to the recent announcement that the Rotherham and Barnsley district offices could close and five staff could be made redundant.

Journalists have even launched a ‘Save Our Star’ campaign and set up an online petition.

NUJ northern area assistant organiser Jenny Lennox said: “Members at the Sheffield Star have voted resoundingly in favour of strike action.

“This isn’t something they will have done lightly but it’s clear that they feel incredibly strongly about the future of their paper. The proposed cuts are bad for the Star and the communities it serves.”

Malcolm Vickers, Johnston Press’ group HR director, said: “The first thing to note is that they have only voted for it, they haven’t taken the decision to have industrial action yet.

“We would like to continue to consult with them with a view to reaching a conclusion. We’re trying to manage this situation through voluntary redundancies.

“Although we are proposing to close the Barnsley and Rotherham offices – each has one reporter in it – we’re confident we can cover these communities’ news from our Sheffield office.”

  • In a separate development, NUJ chapels at Trinity Mirror Midlands will ballot their members over possible strike action.

    Papers will be sent out on Thursday giving members until September 18 to declare whether they would be in favour of full strike action or action short of striking.

    The vote will be held in response to the news that around 65 editorial jobs will be lost and 300 editorial staff will have to reapply for their jobs at titles including the Birmingham Mail and Coventry Telegraph.

    The deadline for these re-applications is September 12 and Trinity Mirror has said it hopes to achieve all redundancies voluntarily. Trinity Mirror declined to comment on this story.

  • Comments

    F. Johnston (01/09/2008 10:27:10)
    Malcolm Vickers says they are trying to manage this via voluntary redundancies. Why then, have five people been made compulsorily redundant?
    And how you cover a community’s news without anybody representing the company in the community?
    Utter tosh.