National Union of Journalists members of The Independent have voted in favour of taking strike action over the threat of compulsory redundancies.
The chapel ballot closed today with 65.5 per cent of members voting in favour of industrial action and 79.5 per cent voting for action short of a strike, according to the NUJ.
The chapel has unanimously agreed to take action in the form of a two hour mandatory chapel meeting next Friday, 9 August, between 4pm and 6pm.
It comes after The Independent announced last month that it was seeking to make 27 compulsory editorial redundancies.
Last week the NUJ said it was “shocked” by the treatment of staff at The Independent after they received what it claims were threats from editor Amol Rajan urging them not to vote for industrial action.
He suggested in an email to staff that a ‘yes’ vote could be “catastrophic” for the titles, while he said owner Evgency Lebedev would see a ‘no’ vote as a “genuine commitment to securing the Independent print brands”.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “There's a lot of talk about the vision for the future. It's looking like one in which there simply isn't the resources to produce hard hitting quality journalism in print and online; where experience and commitment is disregarded; and where the workforce is paid bargain basement salaries and is fearful and compliant. This doesn't represent the founding principles of the Independent and it doesn't square with what readers expect of these titles.
“Industrial action is a last resort and it's shameful that Independent management are unwilling to properly engage with their staff and are refusing sensible proposals that could easily avert a dispute. To refuse to extend the consultation process and refuse to conciliate at ACAS is unreasonable and unnecessary. Less machismo and more common sense would be a much more productive way forward.”