Times editor James Harding has resigned from the National Union of Journalists after becoming the subject of a complaint about the manner in which job cuts were conducted at his paper.
Harding faced a rare internal complaint, instigated by vice-president Donnacha DeLong, which accused him of “actions that threaten the livelihoods and working conditions of members”, according to the latest issue of The Journalist – the in-house magazine of the NUJ.
The allegations centre around job cuts and changes during Harding’s tenure as editor of The Times and in a previously held role as business editor. The complaint questions whether proper procedures required by employment law were followed..
Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said: “Employment rights are for everyone. The Times may be able to get individuals to sign away their rights by throwing money at them and gagging them but the union won’t keep quiet about such abuses. No one is above the law.”
Harding has yet to respond to a request for comment from Press Gazette.
The National Union of Journalists is not recognised by News International – the staff is represented by an in-house committee – however Harding is understood to have held personal union membership for more than 14 years.
Harding briefed staff at The Times last month about the need for the paper to cut up to 50 members of staff and reduce its editorial budget by around ten per cent to stem “unsustainable losses”.
Harding told staff during those briefings that Times Newspapers Limited, the News International subsidiary which is home to The Times and The Sunday Times, was losing a “significant amount of money” and that management had started a process to “cut costs, reduce our losses and free up resources for the future of our journalism”.
Both The Times and The Sunday Times launched new websites last week ahead of the implementation of paid-for access to content on later this month.