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Campaigners rally over Newsquest job cuts

Campaigners fighting the proposed cutbacks at Newsquest’s Glasgow centre will gather in the Scottish city tonight for a public meeting.

Taking to the platform will be Pauline McNeill, Labour MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, and James Doherty, the National Union of Journalists’ Glasgow-based national president.

Joining them will be Sandra White, Scottish National Party MSP for Glasgow, who in December tabled a motion opposing the cuts, prompting a full Scottish Parliament debate last week.

The meeting is being held to discuss Newsquest’s decision last month to ask around 250 journalists at the Evening Times, The Herald and Sunday Herald to apply for 210 jobs.

NUJ deputy general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “It was clear from last week’s debate in Holyrood that Scottish politicians have been shocked by the brutal way Newsquest management have treated their journalists.

“I applaud the organisers of the meeting which will strengthen our twin campaign for better rights for UK workers and for proper investment in journalism.”

NUJ national vice-president Pete Murray added: “The union has already had enormous support from the Scottish trade union movement.

“It’s vital that journalists and other trades unionists turn out to show their support for the Herald chapels and discuss how we take the campaigns forward.”

Newsquest Herald and Times declined to comment on this story.

  • The meeting starts at 7pm at the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Woodlands Road, Glasgow.
  • Comments

    R Jones (15/01/2009 11:09:54)
    It is scandalous that so many universities are still offering media degree courses. The lecturers must by now know that it is a rapidly-shrinking industry and most of those who are in it have poorly-paid jobs. Money is being taken off entrants with no chance of a job at the end of the three years, when they could be studying for something which can pay a liveable wage.
    What is the NUJ doing to provide advice to its members on tangible avenues to alternative careers, or is it hoping to tackle the industry’s problems by holding days of action and throwing insults at managing directors who couldn’t care less about anything they say?

    Lister (15/01/2009 12:05:53)
    I’ll tell you what the NUJ can do, mate. It can do whatever its members want it to. If its members want to fight back against unjustified job cuts and being treated like scum for their years of hard work, then it will stand with them and fight with them as it is in Glasgow – and as it did last week in Darlington. But if its members (and the non-members who refuse to back their colleagues) just want to whinge and moan and snipe from the sidelines, which some do every day on this website, then it can’t do much at all. The answer is simple, really. If you value your job, you have to fight for it. If you don’t want to fight, that’s fine. But don’t undermine those who do and the organisations standing by them.

    R Jones (15/01/2009 14:16:48)
    Whatever the NUJ chooses to do, it is just swimming against the tide, giving false hope to anyone who thinks it is anything more than a paper tiger, or rather tabby.
    The core problem is that far too many people are prepared to take jobs in the regional press for next to nothing, and shoulder all the responsbility that goes with them.
    If enough staff found other careers, perhaps with the help of the unions that purportedly stands up for their rights, then management would eventually have to offer decent wages. That is a principle of supply and demand, and the only real message that management today will ever understand.

    John (15/01/2009 15:19:15)
    R Jones you have spoken more sense than I have heard in a long time. I couldn’t agree with you more. Local journalism is dying, why are the NUJ even wasting their time striking which will only further worsen the speed of paper culls. Give up and change career before it’s too late. I am.

    Lister (15/01/2009 16:37:10)
    Please close the door behind you.

    John (15/01/2009 17:19:14)
    Lister, if you stick with this career you’ll only end up either a/with a job but working long hours on a cleaner’s wage or b/ redundant and threatening industrial action against bosses who couldn’t give a s***. Do yourself a favour mate.

    James Blackman (15/01/2009 19:10:55)
    As a journalism student I am starting to think ‘What’s the point’?
    There’s thousands, it seems, of students like me…
    Christ – it’s depressing.
    My sympathy goes out to all those who loose/have to re-apply for their jobs. Grrrr.

    rethinking my career (16/01/2009 17:13:06)
    I totally agree with the last person’s comment. Why are colleges and universities still churning out would-be journalists? There’s enough qualified ones without jobs as it is ….