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Strike ballot to be held at newspapers after redundancy scheme announced

Journalists at five sister newspapers will vote on proposed industrial action after a redundancy plan was announced.

As reported by HTFP last week, Newsquest has told staff at The Herald and Herald on Sunday that it may be forced to make compulsory redundancies unless “a number” of journalists volunteer to leave.

Now National Union of Journalists members working at the Glasgow-based titles will vote on whether to take action after the company announced proposed cuts last week.

The ballot will cover editorial staff on The Herald, The Herald on Sunday, the Glasgow Evening Times, The National and the Sunday National.

Glasgow Herald office

John Toner, NUJ national organiser for Scotland, said: “Our members are very committed to providing Scotland with quality journalism, and our survey demonstrates that commitment, despite the severe reduction in staffing levels over many years.

“This latest blow has galvanised them, and they don’t believe it is possible to work harder than they do already, with fewer people than they already have.

“To add insult to injury, it was reported that Newsquest has made a substantial bid for JPIMedia’s portfolio of regional newspapers, while at the same time making cuts of up to £500k. This news was met with incredulity by the beleaguered staff.

“These papers and brands have been mainstays of Scottish journalism for more than a century, and staff are no longer willing to tolerate these constant and destructive cuts. As always, we remain willing to talk to Newsquest management.”

The NUJ says it had conducted a stress survey in the weeks before the company’s announcement, which revealed 83 per cent of respondents believed the quality of their title has declined over the last year, while 78pc said their workloads had increased in the last year.

More than half of respondents said they were pressured to produce work faster than they are comfortable with, and 9pc said they had confidence in the current management at the organisation.

The NUJ informed Newsquest yesterday of the ballot, which will begin on 27 November and end on 9 December.

HTFP has approached Newsquest for a comment.


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  • November 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Can anyone remember if there was ever a time,when a journalists strike at one employer let to supporting action from journalists at other newspapers?

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  • November 25, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Old Snapper – most people once their card is marked just want to take the money and leave. Although Voluntary Redundancy these days seems to be over subscribed, so would hope there are no compulsory redundancies.

    Typo in the story – Herlad on Sunday

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  • November 25, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I’m with Paul Jacobs, I’m my experience most people who’ve been with one of the traditional regional publishers any length of time can see the way things are going and are longing for VR to be offered.I just wonder if the boards of these groups realise how many, particularly more experienced and longer serving, staff members feel this way and would take an enhanced VR if offered, a win-win situation which would ease the pressure on companies to forever be looking to cut overheads and reduce staff numbers
    Of course there are those who feel they’re tied by mortgages and many more years of work ahead of them and put up with whatever comes their way,do nothing and hang on but as job cuts are becoming more common as the industry withdraws in on itself there’s a lot to be said for individuals taking control of their own futures.

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