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Newsquest journalists vote for strike action

Journalists at a series of Scottish titles have voted to take strike action over compulsory redundancies planned at the titles.

Members of the National Union of Journalists at Newsquest’s Herald & Times Group, were 86pc in favour of holding a strike, while 96pc voted for action short of a strike.

It comes after bosses at the group announced plans last month to axe around 17 editorial jobs from its photographic and production departments as a result of introducing new ways of working.

As a result of the ballot, NUJ members at the group will begin a work-to-rule on Friday and they will meet tomorrow to decide whether to go on strike.

The ballot was sent out to members at the titles, which include The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times, earlier this month after talks to avoid compulsory redundancies apparently broke down

Scottish NUJ organiser Paul Holleran said: “The ballot result shows the strength of feeling amongst our members.

“It is a clear sign that management should re-open talks with the union and resolve the dispute. Strike action is always a last resort but the chapel vote for action shows members want to try and stop Newsquest’s ruinous plans.

Gannett has a total revenue of £848m yet they want to make compulsory redundancies on what are nearly statutory terms.”

The NUJ has said that nine members of staff volunteered for redundancy and a further eight were at risk of compulsory redundancy.

It is calling on improvements to redundancy terms and continues to oppose compulsory redundancies.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “Scotland’s leading newspapers have faced years of cuts thanks to Newsquest. They have inflicted widespread damage in our industry and they have harmed newspaper titles and quality journalism.

“The ballot result reflects the unity of the chapel and their resolve to stand up for journalism in Scotland. Newsquest should listen to the concerns of its staff and stop treating our members with contempt.”

It is not yet known what action the union will take as a result of the vote.

In a statement, the Herald & Times Group said that any industrial action would be “counter-productive in the current extremely challenging time for the industry”.

A spokesman claimed that only around one-third of editorial staff voted as willing to take part in a strike and only around two in five for action short of a strike.

The spokesman added that the company was investing in upgraded editorial technology which allowed production savings while preserving the range and quality of editorial coverage.

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  • July 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm
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    Solidarity with those NUJ members in Scotland.
    The changes being implemented by Newsquest here could well be rolled out to other centres across the UK – despite the controversy of new content management systems when they were introduced at JP.

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  • July 29, 2013 at 11:21 am
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    We tried it at the Brighton Argus and won and what it equated to was what we lost striking!

    Our ABC figures are out next month and were the laughing stock last time and we are 20% more down in six months,now only around 16k mark. I will earn more fun and less hours working in a supermarket :-( U just want my redundency money and get out

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