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Vote for strike action over Lancs shake-up

National Union of Journalists members at three weekly newspapers in Lancashire have voted in favour of strike action.

The ballot was taken at the Burnley Express, Clitheroe Advertiser and Nelson Leader amid claims by the union that management is looking to restructure operations and is seeking voluntary redundancies.

The proposal comes on the back of plans to axe seven sub-editing and five photographic jobs to create two centralised subbing hubs in Preston and Blackpool, originally announced in February.

NUJ members on the three weeklies voted 90pc in favour of strike action and 100pc for action short of striking. The chapel won official recognition a few months ago.

NUJ northern organiser Chris Morley said: “This is a very solid result. The chapel will not accept anything less than a proper negotiated agreement on the future of their titles and no compulsory redundancies.”

A statement from Johnston Press said: “We have noted the ballot outcome in Burnley and, as previously stated, believe this action to be premature and not in keeping with the good relationship that we have with staff in the Northwest division of Johnston Press.

“We can now confirm that the previously announced reorganisation which affected editorial management in the Northwest, including those at East Lancashire Newspapers of which Burnley is part, will be completed without the need for compulsory redundancies.”


The NUJ has revealed the outcome of its negotiations with Johnston Press in Lancashire and welcomed its decision not to push for compulsory redundancies.

  • Two editorial managers have taken voluntary redundancy and their responsibilities will be covered by weekly paper editors.
  • Editor of the Nelson Leader will also look after the Clitheroe Advertiser whose editor has volunteered for redundancy.
  • Part-time reporters will be invited to work two extra days.
  • Burnley Express editor will also look after sports desk where the sports editor has volunteered for redundancy.
  • Elsewhere in Johnston Press, NUJ members on the Halifax Courier, Brighouse Echo, Hebden Bridge Times and Todmorden News are now balloting for industrial action.

    The union claims management has refused to rule out compulsory redundancies and is imposing reduced redundancy terms. No-one was available to comment at Johnston Press at the time of publication.


    JP (08/04/2009 13:42:49)
    Johnston Press are the HBOS or Northern Rock of journalism. Short-sighted decisions destroying papers for the long-term just to save the big wages and profits of the men high up in the tower. I shudder to think the mammoth amount that could be saved to spare jobs simply by cutting parking allowances, barely-used lavish company cars and not-needed huge office space of the bosses.

    RedundantHack (09/04/2009 15:09:21)
    It’s not just Johnston – they’re all the same. Just look at the latest round of axe-swinging by Northcliffe. They are ALL short-sighted, with the eye on the bottom line and their own big bucks. Forget the journalists, the newspapers and the readers – let’ just churn out copy and fill pages at the cheapest possible rate.

    RedundantHack (09/04/2009 15:10:43)
    Sub needed! LET’S just churn out…..
    Mind you, under the new pared-back regimes, that would have gone in the paper.