Carlton Central has angered the NUJ after deciding to axe four jobs in its regional current affairs department.
Carlton said last year it planned to lose six senior producer posts as a result of a cut in programming hours, farming out up to 25 per cent of production to independent companies and boosting self-shooting and editing of programmes.
Only two members of staff agreed to take voluntary redundancy by the deadline of 3 January.
Now the NUJ says it is “fundamentally opposed” to compulsory redundancies and will do “everything it can” to prevent Carlton from carrying them out. The broadcaster said the four journalists affected are David Fuller, Robert Whitehouse, Carol Baker and Beverly Colledge-Bell.
The NUJ alleges members were warned that industrial action would compromise offers made to the four.
“Members are being threatened that if they take action to defend their colleagues, then the redundancy terms on offer will be withdrawn in favour of statutory minimum terms,” said Paul McLaughlin, the union’s broadcast organiser.
“People with impeccable journalistic credentials are being dispatched.
“We are shocked and saddened that the company would be prepared to take those measures against loyal members of staff.”
A Carlton spokesman said the four were made a “discretionary, more generous offer” of up to four weeks’ pay per year of service. “We’ve made what we feel is a generous offer to the four people, but if industrial action was to take place, we would review that.
We’ve agreed with the NUJ not to issue these redundancy notices until after the chapel meeting [on 15 January],” he said.
He said the terms would only be affected by industrial action and not by the intervention of the NUJ per se.
By Wale Azeez