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Stourbridge Ten in '100pc vote' for strike action

A group of journalists in the West Midlands have voted “decisively” in favour of strike action over the fate of three colleagues whose jobs may be moved 27 miles way.

Regional publisher Newsquest plans to use an existing subbing hub in Worcester for a series of titles currently produced at Stourbridge.

They include the Stourbridge News, Halesowen News, Dudley News, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Advertiser and Redditch Advertiser.

Ten National Union of Journalists members who work on the titles were balloted on action, and the NUJ announced today that there was a 100pc vote in favour.

Northern and Midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “Our members at Stourbridge have shown decisively with this vote that they are not prepared to put up with changes that would rip the heart out of an editorial team that has performed heroically in the face of constant cutbacks.

“They have sent the loudest possible message to management that they consider the company’s plans to be unwelcome and unsuitable – and they want their concerns listened to, not trampled over.

“The alternative plans put forward by the chapel would retain the strong local identity and teamwork that has enabled the Stourbridge Newsquest centre to maintain quality journalism on strong local titles and websites. The company’s proposals would potentially make the journalism of these operations more remote and less relevant to the communities they serve.

“Our members want the company to see sense and recognise that the future cannot be ever-more centralisation and reduction in editorial resources. That way lies ultimate ruin for jobs and newspapers as a businesses and our members at Stourbridge have shown that they are prepared to defend their

Newquest Stourbridge publisher Peter John has previously claimed that the proposal would “improve the day-to-day production of the papers and allow the Stourbridge editors to concentrate on improvements to news gathering, content quality and website development.”

He has said no further comment will be made by the company while the formal consultation process is still ongoing.