Telegraph management has urged journalists to back away from possible strike action.
Yesterday, some 76 per cent of NUJ members (who voted) at Telegraph Group said yes to possible industrial action in protest at drastic changes to working practices and compulsory redundancies for 54 journalists.
According to the NUJ, the key issue is a lack of consultation over changes which have followed the Telegraph Group’s move from Canary Wharf to a new multimedia, 24/7 news operation in Victoria (pictured).
These include compulsory Saturday working for sub editors and early morning starts for reporters.
Some 276 NUJ members were eligible to vote in the ballot, of which 114 did so and 85 said yes to a possible strike.
According to the NUJ chapel, the turnout was affected by the fact that the ballot took place in the midst of the office the move to Victoria.
A Telegraph management spokesman said: “The NUJ's vote – of which we have not yet had official notification – is very regrettable given the massive amount of investment that is taking place at Victoria in the future of the Telegraph. It also comes on the eve of further announcements about new colour printing facilities, combined with the latest mailroom technology.
“Our move has now been successfully completed, and 465 full time journalists are now working in one of the most modern newsrooms anywhere in the world. There were 54 job losses in this area as a result of the integration of our business. However, those affected left on generous terms – and there was only one appeal against a decision.
“NUJ members of our staff will, I believe, want to think about that record of investment in the business, and in the future, when they consider their personal position.”
The Telegraph’s NUJ chapel is expected to hold a mandatory meeting on Tuesday to discuss what possible industrial action it may take.
In 2005, the chapel voted in favour of strike action following 90 editorial redundancies – but then it backed down after concessions were made by management.
Telegraph Group NUJ father of chapel John Carey said: “Throughout the last ten months, ever since the move to Victoria was announced, the company has completely ignored the proper consultation process laid down both in law and in our house agreement as regards job cuts and changes in working practices – and its is continuing to do so.
“This is a management which has shown complete contempt to its work force – the very people on whom it relies to makes its revolution work.”