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Ballot for action at Independent newspaper

25 July 2013

The union ballot for action has started and the chapel has written to the owner and asked him to intervene in the dispute.

As the ballot commenced, NUJ members held a chapel meeting for the Independent titles and agreed to write a joint letter to owner Evgeny Lebedev calling for intervention to ensure full consultation with staff, and raising their concerns on the impact of the planned cuts on the quality of journalism at the titles.

The letter on behalf of the NUJ chapel acknowledges the financial difficulties facing the paper but states

"With already fewer than half the editorial staff of any other quality national newspaper in Britain, we are deeply worried that the extent of the job losses put before us – which threaten to tear the heart out of the writing staff – will be a tipping point."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"The Independent newspaper has a unique role in Britain and the proposed cuts could jeopardise the ability of an already shoe-string operation to continue to deliver hard hitting, quality journalism. Members expect the Independent management to engage properly, not pay lip service to the demands of the consultation process. If the management are genuinely committed to quality journalism they will listen to the sincere concerns of their staff and properly consult over their plans, and commit to avoiding compulsory redundancies."

Laura Davison, NUJ assistant organiser, said:

"Journalists at the Independent do not want to be part of a 'managed decline' at the newspaper. They are proud of the quality of their journalism in all its formats and are seeking to defend it. They are simply asking for management to stop rushing the cuts through and engage in a meaningful consultation process in which the real concerns of the editorial workforce are listened to and acted on."

Tags: , newspapers, independent, ballot, cuts