Earlier this month, Newsquest revealed plans to cut 11 roles from its 29-strong South London newsroom, with all bar two editorial staff at risk of redundancy.
The announcement of the planned strike action comes after NUJ members at the group began a ‘work to rule’ this morning.
Titles affected by the proposed action include the Guardian series in Croydon, Epsom, Kingston, Richmond, Sutton, Wandsworth and Wimbledon, the News Shopper series covering Bexley, Bromley, Dartford, Gravesend, and Greenwich, the Richmond & Twickenham Times and Surrey Comet.
The union says it is willing to meet Newsquest management to resolve the issues before the strike is schdeuled to begin, just after midnight on 6 October.
Michelle Stanistreet, pictured above left, NUJ general secretary, said: “Conditions are tough in the newspaper market, but getting rid of dedicated and talented staff, leaving those remaining with impossible workloads, is not the answer.
“A handful of reporters, with help from a few work experience students, cannot cover half the capital. This will damage the quality of the newspapers and websites and will have a knock-on effect on circulation figures.
“The huge response from local politicians and London Assembly members across the political spectrum shows they fear reduced news coverage will have a negative impact on local democracy and the holding to account of councils and local businesses.
“My members do not want to take this action, but they have been forced by a management which is intent on maintaining profit for shareholders at the expense of the health of its workforce.”
The strike announcement comes after the NUJ yesterday claimed five staff in South London had resigned since the redundancy plans were revealed.
The new structure will see all the South London titles come under a single managing editor, with a team of 12 reporters, four content editors and a web editor covering the patch.
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “It is heart-breaking to see ambitious and enthusiastic young journalists being thwarted by unacceptable hours, a content management system which is not fit for purpose and poor working conditions.
“These newspapers have let go people with many years of experience and now staff are voting with their feet and getting out. This is putting huge pressure on those who remain.”
HTFP has asked Newsquest for a comment.