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Strike ballot to be held over subbing hub plans

Journalists from a regional daily are set to ballot for industrial action over plans to create two subbing hubs at Newsquest’s southern region.

It was revealed earlier this week that production operations at Brighton’s The Argus could be centralised at Southampton’s Southern Daily Echo.

It is understood that the change will result in the net loss of five posts in Brighton, but three new jobs will be created in Southampton.

Members of the National Union of Journalists’ chapel at The Argus held a meeting today in which they decided to ballot for action over the plans.

Jenny Lennox, assistant organiser for the NUJ’s publishing department, said: “The decision was that there was a ballot not only to cover the potential redundancies but also the pay freeze.

“It was a unanimous vote to ballot and we have had some new members as well.”

Seven sub-editing posts on The Argus are expected to be reduced to two, while the post of Worthing reporter is also set to disappear.

And the subbing desks of the Daily Echo, Bournemouth, and the Dorset Echo are also set to be merged at a new hub in Weymouth with a net loss of four posts.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that journalists at Newsquest titles in Hampshire have voted to take strike action over the continuing pay freeze by the group but a date has not yet been set for this.

The vote follows publication of the company’s accounts showing that one unnamed director received a 21.5pc pay rise last year.

Meanwhile, union members from a chapel at Essex’s The Echo have submitted a 20pc pay claim to management at the Newsquest title over the continuing pay freeze, in light of the pay rise for the director.

Ms Lennox said: “The chapel have put this pay claim in. They decided to do it since they have had a pay freeze for over two years.

“They decided as a chapel that if the company wouldn’t talk to them about pay, they would all put in grievances to the company.”

Newsquest chief executive Paul Davidson had not responded to requests for a comment at the time of publication.


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  • October 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    OH they want to strike now they have finally reached the subs. Did you not think ask where everybody else in the industry had gone ? Now you want our support when it’s your turn…

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  • October 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    They tried to strike a few times before during various other redundancies but, in my opinion, there were a couple of Union members who had to reject strike action due to their more senior position and pressure from above.

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