Call for consultation as Independent ballot dates set
18 July 2013
A ballot for action at the Independent will commence on Wednesday (24 July), following the announcement of 27 redundancies at the newspaper.
The union said it had been forced to move to a ballot because of the management's refusal to engage in proper consultation. Laura Davison, NUJ official, said:
"Members recognise the financial issues at play, but are simply calling for a fair and meaningful consultation process to deal with them, not the intransigent approach currently being adopted.
"At present the company seems fixed on sacking people in early August despite members having summer holidays already booked with their families, which means they will be away and can't be genuinely consulted.
"The journalists recognise the commitment the Lebedevs have shown to the titles and want to continue to protect editorial quality. That is why the company should stop this headlong rush to oblivion, extend the consultation period and work constructively with the NUJ to try and resolve these issues."
The ballot closes on Friday, 2 August.
The chapel's motion calling for a ballot for industrial action up to and including a strike, said:
"The chapel deplores this latest attack on editorial quality and on jobs at the Independent; as well as its inevitable knock-on effect at the other Independent Print Limited titles. It has a long-standing and outright opposition to compulsory redundancies and demands that the threat of these be removed.
"The chapel is also dismayed that no consultation was undertaken before plans for the more than 20 redundancies were announced. The chapel insists on meaningful consultation being held on a collective basis and expresses its deep concern for the future of the Independent Print Limited Titles."
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"Despite having had cut after cut to staff numbers, the journalists at the Independent should be recognised for their hard work and the quality of their work. That is why it is outrageous for the management to be rushing into this unholy race to push 27 out of the door without proper consultation."