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Stressed Tindle staff opt for fresh ballot

A fresh ballot on industrial action is to be held by journalists at the Tindle newspapers in North London who say they are understaffed and stressed.

Members of the National Union of Journalists working for the North London and Herts Newspapers staged a series of strikes across the bank holiday weeks earlier this month in protest at the non-replacement of staff who have left the nine papers.

Father-of-chapel Jonathan Lovett said things had since gone from bad to worse since the strike because they have now been told freelancers, who they rely on, are to be cut too.

He said the loss of the freelancers, including a regular photographer and sub-editor, will  mean an even bigger workload for the already struggling staff, adding that staff were already stressed and were having to take work home with them at weekends, as well as working late in the week.

Jonathan told HTFP: “We are re-balloting because at this rate we are going to be nothing more than a glorified newsletter.

“Nothing came out of the meeting last week – it’s impossible to carry on working like this. Our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.”

Peter Edwards, managing director for London’s Tindle titles said they were in discussions with the NUJ regarding the ballot but would not comment when asked about how many hours staff at the titles were now working.

He said: “As far as freelancers are concerned if we have a policy of not replacing our own people it wouldn’t be right to use freelancers.”

Union members say more than one-third of editorial staff have left without being replaced and key positions are not being filled – with just three reporters ‘churning out’ nine newspapers a week.

The Tindle titles includes the Enfield Advertiser, Enfield Gazette, the Winchmore Hill Advertiser and Herald and the Haringey Advertiser.

A statement from the Tindle board when the strike started warned it could have to make its first editorial redundancies since the recession started at the Enfield centre because of losses at the titles.

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  • May 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Typical. How many sales rep positions has this non-replacement fiasco affected, I wonder?

    And is the MD trying to claim the moral high-ground by not using freelancers, as if it would be an insult to the sacred memory of the staffers’ jobs he’s stiffed?

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