Birmingham Trinity Mirror journalists ballot for action
14 January 2010
NUJ members working for the Birmingham Post and Mail are once again voting on whether to take industrial action in response to plans to make further cutbacks at Trinity Mirror's Birmingham centre.
The company is looking to cut production sub editors from its operations at the end of January. The move worries journalists on the papers who say it will create unmanageable workloads for the staff who remain.
Management claim that a new editorial computer system mean the cuts can be made without damaging quality, but NUJ members say that in practice putting the papers together requires more work than the company expected.
They also say that the move to a weekly Post and a new publishing schedule for the Mail mean that in some cases workload has actually increased.
This is the third time members at the paper will have voted on whether to take strike action since the autumn of 2008. Previous ballots have focussed on the company's plans to make compulsory redundancies and members' action successfully stopped NUJ members being forced out of their jobs. The company has returned to the table for talks with the union.
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern Regional Organiser, said about on the latest developments:
"Once again, Trinity Mirror management are forcing our members to resort to an industrial action ballot to make the company listen to their concerns. But this time it isn't just about defending members at risk of compulsory redundancy but also about being asked to stand up against rising and unreasonable workloads and levels of stress caused by management cuts.
"Left unresolved, these problems can affect people's longer term health and well-being, as well as family relationships. They also damage productivity at work and are bad for business. That is why the chapel is once again asking its members to stand united to help prevent further harm to journalism at Trinity Mirror Midlands – and to NUJ members."
Ballot papers were sent out to NUJ members on the titles on Wednesday 13 January.