Strike threat lifted as Reuters delays job role shake-up

Industrial action has been averted at Reuters after the company suspended changes to its career structure for journalists.

Last month Reuters NUJ chapel said it would ballot staff on strike action over the ‘shabby way’in which journalists’ jobs were being reclassified without negotiation. A Reuters spokeswoman said the company would continue with discussions with the NUJ but would like to implement the changes at a future date.

The company said it had in fact consulted staff and that the reclassifications did not affect terms and conditions.

The union said today that some staff are worried about Reuters’s proposed merger with Thomson, the Canadian-based financial information company – although Reuters has said that the proposed changes to contracts were not related to the merger.

That deal is expected to go through in the spring pending two separate investigations by the European Commission and the US Department of Justice.

NUJ national newspapers organiser Barry Fitzpatrick said: ‘We’re pleased that Reuters’s management has seen sense and suspended the implementation of these changes. Given the uncertainties around the proposed merger with Thomson, the forcing through of new job roles without proper consultation would be the last thing journalists at Reuters need.

‘Our members, both in Reuters and Thomson, still have concerns about whether the companies are taking their concerns on board as they make progress towards the merger.

‘We’re urging management to engage in meaningful talks with the NUJ to ensure that our members’ concerns are addressed.”

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