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August 28, 2013

Newsquest journalists in Glasgow vote in support of strike for second time

By Gavriel Hollander

Journalists at Newsquest’s Glasgow titles have voted in favour of strike action for the second time after an initial ballot last month was challenged over its legality.

The National Union of Journalists claimed that turnout among its members at the Glasgow Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times increased for the second ballot, where 97 per cent of those who voted were in favour of some form of industrial action with 76.4 per cent supporting strike action.

The dispute is over editorial cuts at the titles, where 20 jobs are at risk, with eight set to be axed through compulsory redundancies.

Earlier this month, Newsquest challenged the legality of an initial ballot in which 86 per cent were in favour of a strike and 96 per cent voted for industrial action.

It is thought the company claimed that the NUJ had not given sufficient notice of the ballot and also challenged it on other technicalities.

The NUJ is arguing against the compulsory job cuts and campaigning for better redundancy terms for those affected. It has also expressed concern over the introduction of a new production system being brought in at the same time as the redundancies.

The union claims the company will save around £700,000 from the cuts.

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Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser, said: “This shows the strength of feeling among editorial staff against the harsh imposition of job cuts on the cheap. This company needs to understand the NUJ will not stand back and let members be treated like this. We offered to negotiate the changes as we have done in other newspaper companies but for some reason Newsquest preferred conflict to a constructive partnership approach.”

The NUJ chapel at the papers will meet later this week to discuss what action to take.

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