NUJ to re-ballot Scottish Newsquest titles following legal challenge

Industrial action at Newsquest titles the Glasgow Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times has been called off after legal challenges were made to the ballot paper.

Some 86 per cent of NUJ members who voted at the titles were in favour of strike action and 96 per cent agreed to action short of a strike.

The ballot followed news that 20 editorial jobs were at risk, and that eight roles would be axed through compulsory redundancies.

The union is opposing compulsory redundancies and has also demanded improved redundancy terms.

A work-to-rule was due to start today at 3pm, but the NUJ informed Newsquest it would not be going ahead with the action on Wednesday.

The NUJ said the legal challenges were made over "minor technicalities" and that it had decided to re-ballot rather than run the risk of going to court.

It is understood the company’s first issue was that its name was written as Newsquest (Herald and Evening Times) on the ballot paper rather than Newsquest (Herald and Times). The second challenge was in relation to the amount of notice the company was due to be given over the action.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Rather than acknowledge the overwhelming result of the ballot and the strength of feeling that exists amongst their journalists and making efforts to resolve the dispute, Newsquest has chosen to ride roughshod over the democratic decisions taken by staff with an attempt to block strike action by exploiting the many hurdles created by anti-trade union legislation

“The reality is that their actions do nothing to dissipate the anger and frustration our members feel at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times and merely renews their collective determination to fight these poorly thought out proposals, even if means action is temporarily delayed."

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