NUJ says strike ballot still on cards at the Mirror

The National Union of Journalists hasn’t ruled out the possibility that it may ballot its members at Mirror Group Newspapers over possible strike action.

Members of the NUJ working on the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and The People met on Friday to discuss ways to protect jobs as parent company Trinity Mirror looks to cut around 200 editorial posts across its three London-based nationals.

The meeting of the union’s members came ahead of a series of planned two-hour stoppages over the weekend by members of a second union, the British Association of Journalists, which has many more members than the NUJ at MGN.

The BAJ balloted in favour of action last month with 50 out of 84 of its 146 members at MGN voting for a strike.

It emerged yesterday that those planned BAJ walkouts for Friday and Saturday early-evening were cancelled just ahead of their commencement.

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 (around 40 of the total workforce).

A number of NUJ members had also temporarily joined the BAJ during the consultations over job losses. However, it seems that resolve is strong amongst NUJ members to keep all options open.

‘We had a National Union of Journalists chapel meeting at the Mirror Group on Friday,’an NUJ spokesman told Press Gazette.

‘Members are extremely keen for us to remain involved particularly given what has happened with the British Association of Journalists.

‘We are continuing to support our members will be led by them. They are keen for us to not ballot at present but that does not rule out the possibility of ballot in the near future.”

He added: ‘Members, including those who are joint members between the NUJ and BAJ, are extremely keen for us to remain involved and aren’t ruling out the possibility of balloting at a later stage.”

Trinity Mirror announced plans in June to cut around 200 editorial jobs across its three London-based national newspapers.

Around 60 casuals are expected to be dropped with the remaining 140 cuts coming from the staff journalists.

Trinity Mirror is proposing to adopt a multimedia newsroom similar to those introduced at its regional newspaper centres and outsource much of the subbing of the three newspapers to the Press Association operation in Howden, Yorkshire.

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