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Jobs saved at Shropshire Newspapers after strike threat

6 March 2009

Determined campaigning by an NUJ workplace chapel in the English Midlands has stopped five compulsory redundancies. Journalists at Shropshire Newspapers were told the jobs had been saved just 24 hours after giving management notice of industrial action.

The victory has been won even though the union is not formally recognised by the firm.

The saga began last October when parent company Midland News Association announced plans to cut ten percent of their staff.

Compulsory redundancies were threatened in January and, in February, journalists in Shropshire started balloting for industrial action when twelve editorial jobs were targeted. NUJ members were particularly angry that trainees had been earmarked for the chop.

Last week the company said five job cuts were still needed – and started drawing up the criteria to select staff for redundancy.

Earlier this week the NUJ gave notice of a mandatory union meeting for journalists to be held on Wednesday 11 March.

The company responded by saying they were no longer seeking the compulsory redundancies and would find savings elsewhere.

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern Regional Organiser, said:

"This is a fantastic result especially as the chapel is not recognised.
"It shows that campaigning by union members can make a difference whatever the circumstances. People were joining the union to support the fight against job cuts.
"We were particularly concerned that trainees were being targeted for redundancies even though the company had a contractual obligation to train them. These points were made very strongly."

Tags: , jobs, newspapers, shropshire, midland news association, redundancies, industrial action, ballot, recognition