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Journalists vote to continue work-to-rule

Journalists at Glasgow’s Herald and Times Group are set to continue their industrial action after a ballot was held.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at the Newsquest titles have been taking part in a work-to-rule since the New Year because around 12 redundancies were made before Christmas – half of which were compulsory.

To continue with their action beyond 12 weeks, a ballot had to be held and journalists at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times voted in favour of striking and action short of a strike, which includes working to rule.

Following the result, strike action is not expected to be held, although the option remains open to the union, but the work-to-rule is set to continue.

Scottish NUJ organiser Paul Holleran said there had been a turnout of around 60pc for the ballot and members had been five to one in favour of some form of industrial action.

He said: “It seems to be working because people are getting their breaks and working their proper hours.

“When the holidays happen over Easter, it is going to be difficult for the papers and it highlights how there’s not enough staff.”

At a chapel meeting last month, members decided to be balloted on continuing their industrial action because of their concerns about possible further job losses.

A spokesman for the Herald and Times Group said the company was ‘disappointed’ the work-to-rule would continue and said only half of NUJ members at the titles had voted for it.

He said: “We hope they and their colleagues think very seriously about the implications of any action that might harm our products.

“This is a uniquely challenging time for the media market when we would expect the team to pull together to support the titles and jobs.”

The company said only 78 of 152 NUJ members at the newspapers had voted in the ballot to continue the work-to-rule.