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Strike ballot to be held after redundancies announced

Journalists who issued a vote of no confidence in two senior managers after redundancies were announced will now hold a ballot for strike action.

HTFP revealed earlier this week that Members of the National Union of Journalists’ chapel at Newsquest South West London unanimously passed a no confidence vote against regional managing director Roger Mills and director of advertising Dene Stuart.

The move came after the company announced a three-month consultation over editorial redundancies as part of a restructure to bring in efficiencies.

Now the chapel has decided to hold a ballot for strike action, which is expected to start in around ten days.

It is thought all journalists working for the affected titles, which includes Sutton Guardian, Croydon Guardian and the Richmond and Twickenham Times, could be at risk under the plans for redundancies.

NUJ assistant organiser Jenny Lennox said: “The main issue is the redundancy programme that the company is trying to pursue. They have not given us any real details about what it is going to involve.

“This is about whether Newsquest wants to invest in quality journalism and I think there’s a real fear that they are uninterested in having good newspapers that people want to read.”

A work-to-rule is currently taking place by journalists at some of the titles after the company requested volunteers for redundancy, which came after a cut in editorial pagination.

Following the latest announcement of redundancies, the vote of no confidence in the two managers was held the same day by journalists unhappy at the proposals.

Mr Mills was not available for comment at the time of publication.