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Strike ballot to be held over job cuts at regional publisher


Journalists will be balloted for strike action after a regional publisher announced up to 20 editorial redundancies.

Members of the National Union of Journalists working at the Herald and Times Group have voted unanimously for the ballot after Newsquest announced it was looking to make cuts.

HTFP reported yesterday that a voluntary redundancy programme had been opened to staff at the titles – The Herald, Sunday Herald, Glasgow Evening Times and The National – and between 18 and 20 roles would be affected.

The NUJ said that the move would see editorial jobs cut by 20pc at the Herald and Times Group and it was the third round of redundancies in the last 10 months.

The union also claimed that Newsquest plans to make cuts of 20pc in the Romanes Group titles, which it purchased in May.

According to the NUJ, the Romanes newspapers had not made any editorial redundancies for years but now faced making job cuts and savings.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said: “This treadmill of redundancies cannot continue. I have told Newsquest it is not sustainable to keep cutting jobs without putting a robust alternative structure in place.

“In response they said they will be coming back to us later in the year for a fundamental restructure in editorial areas and they wonder why people are so angry.

“They should just seek an interested buyer and sell the titles if their plan is to shrink the business to nothing.”

In a letter to the union, the company said “newspaper revenues are declining and there is a need to cut cost and increase efficiency”.

But staff have told the union that many of them are working excessive hours because of problems with staffing levels, which they blamed on poor management.

Union officials are planning to travel across Scotland to speak to chapels at former Romanes titles which are now owned by Newsquest.

No one from Newsquest had responded to a request for a comment at the time of publication.

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  • August 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Typical. Advertisers fall short and editorial takes the hit.
    What more do you expect from Newsquest a company that employs poor staff who grovel to bosses and loses anyone who knows what they are doing.
    Anyone who is anyone avoids Newsquest like the plague. The only ones that don’tare desperate and pathetic.
    Chief reporters in place because of who they crawl to. New journalists taken on because hey are cheap and crawlers.
    No wonder no-one buys the papers.

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