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Strike ballot to be held over plans to cut jobs

Journalists at a regional publisher will take part in a ballot for strike action in opposition to plans to cut up to 20 editorial jobs.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at Archant Norfolk decided to be balloted for industrial action after the company revealed proposals to axe the jobs as part of a restructure.

The affected titles include the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and a series of weekly titles where a range of positions are at risk, including feature writers, photographers, sports journalists and sub-editors.

Father of Chapel Pete Kelley said the chapel had agreed to the ballot for industrial action but this would be a last resort if progress was not made in talks with the company.

He said: “We have had redundancies about two years ago and the staff feel we have come as far as we can without threatening the quality of the newspapers.

“We are hoping it will not come to strike action. We are having quite positive talks with the company at the moment and we are putting our proposals to them on Thursday.”

The ballot will take place in the next few weeks and comes after some journalists at the titles last week started an unofficial ‘work-to-rule’ to highlight how much overtime was being done.

In announcing a consultation on the restructure last month, Archant said the proposals would lead to the creation of a new digital department, greater focus on weekly titles and an increase in the number of reporters operating ‘on-patch’.

The company had not responded to requests for further comment at the time of publication.