Journalists are having to choose between signing new contracts or risk losing their job at a newspaper group, according to the National Union of Journalists.
The union is calling for an immediate halt to the imposition of new contracts at the Newsquest owned Clyde and Forth Press newspaper titles in Scotland.
Newsquest took over the group, which includes the daily Greenock Telegraph, 19 paid for weekly newspapers and nine free titles, in May 2015.
The NUJ claims staff have been told they must sign the new contracts by this coming Wednesday or risk losing their jobs.
Terms of the new contracts include reducing annual holiday entitlements by one day, increasing contractual working hours, slashing sick pay entitlements by up to half and reducing pension contributions.
The union is urging the company to change its current approach and instead engage in “meaningful consultation” over the issue.
Dominic Bascombe, NUJ assistant organiser in Scotland, said: “This is a classic case of Newsquest trying to impose their low level terms and conditions on staff despite the fact the company has directly benefitted from the hard work and goodwill of our members.
“Newsquest saw the Clyde and Forth Press titles as a bargain to buy because the staff there have maintained the quality of their titles under very difficult circumstances and tough working conditions. To erode standards even further is a massive blow to staff.
“Newsquest need to pay decent and fair wages and they should commit to sensible terms and conditions rather than drive down standards.”
A Newsquest spokesman said: “We are disappointed the NUJ has taken this stance while discussions are ongoing.
“The welfare of our staff is very important to us and we are continuing to have discussions with all of our Clyde and Forth staff.”