Telegraph could face October strike as foreign staff axed

By Dominic Ponsford

As the Telegraph Group axed foreign correspondents in France and the United States the paper is facing the prospect of possible strike action before the end of October.

Washington bureau chief Alec Russell, Washington correspondent Francis Harris, New York bureau chief Harry Mount and Paris correspondnt Colin Randall were told they were being axed by telephone yesterday.

They are the latest of 54 editorial redundancies proposed as Telegraph Group continues to move from Canary Wharf to Victoria.

NUJ national newspapers organiser Barry Fitzpatrick said: “Staff tell me they are completely appalled – they feel this management has completely lost its way and its credibility. The NUJ’’s position is that we are certainly not unaware of the need for change – but what we patently dispute is doing that without taking your journalists with you.”

Two weeks ago NUJ members at a Telegraph chapel meeting voted by 91 votes to zero to hold an official ballot over possible strike action.

Journalists are concerned about changes to hours and shift patterns caused by the integration of online and print as well as the fact that many of the redundancies are to be compulsory.

The ballot is expected to be completed by the middle of October and depending on the outcome, journalists would then need to give management seven days notice of any industrial action.

Picture: artists' impression of the new Telegraph newsroom in Victoria.


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