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Johnston Press journalists in Blackpool take action

4 March 2010

Journalists at the Blackpool Gazette and Herald are taking industrial action in a dispute over management changes to working practices.

Following an industrial action ballot, staff will not take part in any training relating to the introduction of the company's new ATEX content management system until further notice.

The action reflects a successful consultative ballot among NUJ members working across the entire Johnston Press group, which saw a massive 87 per cent vote indicating that journalists would be prepared to take industrial action over the proposed changes.

The company's introduction of the new system will see reporters writing into templated pages, with some stories going straight to page, or direct to the printing process, without the work being overseen by sub-editors for checking and other purposes.

Chris Morley, NUJ northern and midlands organiser, said:

"Members in Blackpool are fed up with the lack of real information about ATEX and how it will likely impact on them and their jobs. They are therefore boycotting the training needed to operate the system until members are properly informed about the company's plans.
"If the company sits down with the union to discuss the implementation of this system properly, a damaging dispute can be avoided. I urge the management to start talking."

Tags: , newspapers, johnston press, atex, industrial action, blackpool, blackpool gazette