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Journalists to vote on continuing work-to-rule

Journalists at Glasgow’s Herald and Times Group are set to be balloted on whether to continue taking industrial action.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times have been taking part in a work-to-rule since the New Year in protest at around a dozen job losses before Christmas – half of which were compulsory redundancies.

At a chapel meeting, members decided to be balloted on continuing with the work-to-rule at the Newsquest titles because of their concerns about further job losses.

They previously stopped short of walking out on strike in January, calling off their action at the 11th hour because of the relaunch of the Sunday Herald as a news magazine.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said legally a ballot had to be held to continue the industrial action beyond 12 weeks.

He said: “The original dispute was over the compulsory redundancies that the company pushed through last time. We put a work-to-rule in place to show the company there were not enough journalists in place.

“There’s a major concern that the company could come back with more job losses, making people compulsory redundant.

“I have met with the editors and senior management. I am always optimistic that we can make some progress and get some kind of understanding in place but some of the workers are not confident.

“People are more concerned about job threats than the pay. The company have offered a pay increase if we withdraw the work-to-rule.”

Mr Holleran added journalists were worried about the future of the Sunday Herald, where he said circulation had not improved dramatically since its relaunch.

No one from the company had responded to requests for a comment at the time of publication.