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July 26, 2013updated 29 Jul 2013 1:52pm

Strike looms at Newsquest Scottish titles after journalists back industrial action

By Gavriel Hollander

Newsquest journalists in Scotland have voted for strike action in response to forced redundancies at the Glasgow Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times.

Up to 20 editorial jobs could be lost at the papers as the publisher is set to introduce a new production system. Last week it emerged that eight of the roles would be axed through compulsory redundancies.

National Union of Journalists members at the titles voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action, with 86 per cent voting to strike and 96 per cent voting for action short of a strike.

The union is opposing compulsory redundancies and has also demanded improved redundancy terms for those faced with losing their jobs.

Paul Holleran, NUJ organiser in Scotland, said: “The ballot result shows the strength of feeling amongst our members. It is a clear sign that management should re-open talks with the union and resolve the dispute. Strike action is always a last resort but the chapel vote for action shows members want to try and stop Newsquest’s ruinous plans. Gannett (owner of Newsquest) has a total revenue of £848m yet they want to make compulsory redundancies on what are nearly statutory terms.”

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary added: "Scotland's leading newspapers have faced years of cuts thanks to Newsquest. They have inflicted widespread damage in our industry and they have harmed newspaper titles and quality journalism. The ballot result reflects the unity of the chapel and their resolve to stand up for journalism in Scotland. Newsquest should listen to the concerns of its staff and stop treating our members with contempt.”  

The NUJ is waiting for Newsquest’s response to the ballot before naming a date for strike action.

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