BAJ members at Mirror to discuss strike plans this week

Members of the British Association of Journalists working at Mirror Group Newspapers will meet later this week to discuss strike plans after a series of walkouts proposed for last weekend were cancelled at the 11th hour.

The meeting, which will be held on Thursday on the editorial floor at Canary Wharf, comes after the BAJ made a ‘tactical withdrawal’by postponing a walkout of its members on the Daily Mirror planned for Friday.

Just five Daily Mirror staff, including officials, are understood to have met at the Canary Wharf reception for the planned strike on Friday – which led to a hasty postponement of the action.

Similar action planned for Saturday on The People and The Sunday Mirror was then cancelled, with the union claiming the move was to protect staff facing job cuts.

‘It also transpired that due to shift patterns and holidays, not many BAJ members were on duty in many sections,’the union told its members in a memo.

‘In the circumstances, it was quickly decided to postpone strike action on the Daily Mirror until further consideration of the matter.”

The union claimed that in light of Friday’s events it did not want to undermine the chances of its members on The People and The Sunday Mirror retaining their jobs so cancelled action planned for Saturday.

‘As they say in military circles, we’ve made a tactical withdrawal,’the union told members.

‘There was obviously no point in strike action if members on Daily Mirror production felt, understandably, that it undermined their chances of being selected to stay and, at the same time, a significant number of members were on different shifts or on holiday.”

Press Gazette understands the union will wait to hear the outcome of the redundancy selection process, due this week, before deciding on whether to pursue further planned walkouts on the three papers set for Friday and the weekend.

The strike action comes after parent company Trinity Mirror announced plans in May to cut around 200 editorial jobs across its three London-based national newspapers.

Trinity Mirror had warned journalists that taking part in strike action would see them removed from the company’s annual bonus scheme.

The company cautioned staff working on the three titles published by its Mirror Group Newspapers division that joining any of six two-hour strikes, which were due to start on Friday, would also result in pay being docked.

In a further twist, the National Union of Journalists told Press Gazette that it had not yet ruled out a ballot of its 40 or so members at MGN on possible strike action.

NUJ sources had previously told Press Gazette that the union would only consider a joint-strike ballot with the BAJ, given the small number of journalists it represents at MGN.

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