Johnston Press journalists vote for group-wide action

Journalists across Johnston Press today voted to hold group-wide industrial action on the day that the company held its AGM.

Members of the National Union of Journalists who hold shares in the company attended the Edinburgh meeting to ask questions about executive pay, staffing levels and what they say is a lack of training for the controversial new ATEX content management system.

Journalists at Johnston Press chapels in Scarborough, Sheffield and Blackpool have been holding piecemeal industrial action in protest against problems with ATEX and plans to create new subbing hubs and cut staff.

Now the NUJ has revealed that it has held an official strike ballot among 50 Johnston Press chapels and that 70 per cent of journalists voting said yes to industrial action. According to the NUJ around 500 journalists took part in the vote and turnout was above 60 per cent.

NUJ assistant organiser for the North and Midlands of England Lawrence Shaw, who was present at the AGM, said: “We’ve had the chance here to impress on Johnston Press management that staff have had enough. What’s important now is that we carry that campaign on, because if we don’t do something to stop it, these people are going to kill off the newspapers they claim to love so much.”

The NUJ said that officials will meet over the next week to finalise what form industrial action will take.

Johnston Press journalists in Scarborough were holding a one-day strike today.

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