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Scottish Parliament calls on Trinity Mirror to 'listen to reason'

23 April 2009

The Scottish Parliament has voted by a massive majority to back a motion calling on the bosses of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail to "listen to reason" before making compulsory redundancies. The resolution was proposed by a former Record journalist who is now a Labour MSP and was backed by the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Journalists on the Glasgow-based newspapers start a further three-day strike over job cuts tomorrow. NUJ members on the Trinity Mirror-owned titles have already held four days of strike action over the company's plan to make 24 of their colleagues compulsorily redundant.

The Labour motion called for urgent talks before any compulsory redundancies go ahead.

David Whitton MSP, the journalist who moved the resolution, said:

"I am pleased that the SNP are backing the Labour motion and the Minister, Jim Mather, is trying to exert some pressure on the management at Trinity Mirror.
"Unfortunately time appears to be running out and the management at the newspapers need to listen to reason and stop these compulsory redundancies going ahead without talks taking place.
"The attitude of the management at the papers has been despicable. Even Robert Maxwell never tried to make people redundant without proper consultation."

The Scottish Parliament passed the motion by 82 votes to 13, with the Conservatives voting against.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, who will be visiting the picket line in Glasgow tomorrow, said:

"I would like to thank the vast majority of Scottish politicians for opposing the cuts.
"They realise that Trinity Mirror management have abandoned any commitment to quality journalism or to fair treatment for their workers.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), meeting this week, also passed an emergency motion supporting the strikers.

Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish Organiser, told the STUC:

"These are not loss making companies. The Daily Record and Sunday Mail have made in excess of £20 million profit a year.
"This dispute is about jobs but also about the quality of newspapers – these directors have driven down and sacrificed quality journalism by making huge cuts in search of further profit."

Including voluntary redundancies the Record and Mail have cut 70 jobs. The SNP passed a motion against the cuts at their spring conference last Saturday.

Tags: , trinity mirror, newspapers, redundancies, labour party britain, snp, glasgow, daily record, sunday mail, parliament scotland, stuc, stuc annual congress, conservative party, picket