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Journalists call off strike ahead of title’s relaunch

Journalists at Glasgow’s Herald and Times Group have called off a 48-hour strike planned to start tomorrow, amid concerns about the impact on the launch of the new-look Sunday Herald.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at Newsquest titles in Glasgow, which also includes The Herald and Evening Times, were set to walk out in protest at 13 journalists being made redundant before Christmas, around half of which were compulsory.

But Scotland NUJ organiser Paul Holleran said at a chapel meeting this afternoon, union members decided to postpone the strike action, which was partly because of the relaunch of the Sunday Herald as a news magazine this weekend.

The chapel is, however, taking part in an on-going work to rule, which started on Monday because of the redundancies at the titles.

Mr Holleran said the relaunch of the new-look Sunday Herald was one of the reasons why the strike was decided against, although there were other factors involved as well.

He said: “People felt they didn’t want to jeopardise that. There’s a work to rule so people are just working their contracted hours.”

Mr Holleran added the work to rule was having an effect, particularly on parts of the papers’ websites which were not being updated as regularly.

A spokesman for the Herald & Times Group said it welcomed the chapel’s decision and said talks between management and the union will continue next week.

“The editorial team is now focused on the launch of a new Sunday Herald this weekend which captures the radical and innovative spirit which has been the title’s hallmark since its launch in 1999.

“The 92-page Sunday Herald will be a one-section stitched newspaper printed on top-quality paper offering in-depth analysis, reporting and investigations in a different way.”