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Newsquest must stop slashing jobs, says NUJ

7 August 2013

Journalists at the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times in Scotland, remain committed to challenging the job cuts at Newsquest and will start voting in another ballot for industrial action on Monday 12 August.

The daily reality for Newsquest journalists is the company continue to slash jobs. Newsquest have refused to move on compulsory redundancies that could have been avoided if the company agreed to offer better redundancy terms of 2 weeks for every year over 20 years. The current cost cuts across editorial, advertising and circulation is expected to generate savings of around £700,000.

As well as the job cuts, the union is concerned about the introduction of a new editorial system. Staff who have been pushed out of Newsquest have been snapped up by rival titles who are more willing to work with the NUJ to ensure there are sufficient staffing levels to address the introduction of new technologies.

The union announced last week that journalists at the NUJ Glasgow Herald and Times chapel voted decisively by 86 per cent for strike action and 96 per cent for action short of a strike. The NUJ is re-balloting members, starting on Monday, at Scottish Newsquest titles in the wake of legal threats to challenge the first ballot on minor technicalities.

Paul Holleran, NUJ organiser in Scotland, said:

"The re-ballot shows the unity of the chapel and the strength of feeling amongst our members. Gannett has a total revenue of £848m yet they want to keep on cutting jobs and make compulsory redundancies on what are nearly statutory terms."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"Decisions taken in London are gradually eroding the Newsquest Scottish titles. In the past, similar decisions have been rewarded with a bonus pot for directors worth £240,000. It is an utter disgrace that big business is allowed to destroy people's livelihoods and squeeze the life out of newspaper titles so that those at the top can fill their own pockets.
"It seems that greedy managers in London are interfering in Glasgow as rivals jockey to replace the chief executive Paul Davidson before the end of the year. The Scottish job cuts are signed off by London with a total disregard for local readers, local journalists and the titles they produce. The NUJ calls on Newsquest and its parent company Gannett to stop slashing jobs."

Tags: , ballot, newsquest, newspapers, cuts, sunday herald, evening times, herald scotland