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South London Newsquest journalists vote on industrial action

12 May 2011

Journalists working for Newsquest in South London are to ballot on industrial action in a dispute over redundancies.

The ballot of 25 NUJ members working at Sutton and Twickenham will begin next Monday, May 16, with a result due at the end of the month.

The NUJ has welcomed comments from business secretary Vince Cable, the local MP for Twickenham expressing concern at the future of the Newsquest papers. He said:

"It's a very important part of the local community, and the Richmond and Twickenham Times has long been a highly regarded local paper with a good record. It is something that binds the community together.
"I know it has been under financial pressure for a long time because of the internet and problems with advertising, but this is very worrying news – I'm very concerned about it."

The Newsquest journalists last week passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in their managing director Roger Mills and director of advertising Dene Stuart after a company decision to make an unspecified number of editorial staff redundant while the group's titles continue to make substantial profits.

Jenny Lennox, NUJ Assistant Organiser, said:

"Our members at Newsquest believe the redundancies, which are due to take place within the next three months, are a direct result of Roger Mills' management after he took on responsibility for Newsquest East London and Newsquest London in addition to his role as managing director of Newsquest South London.
"The journalists have also lost confidence in Dene Stuart over his failure to implement new ideas to bring in revenue through the group's well-read newspapers and websites.
"The redundancies have been ordered despite Newsquest recording profits of £71.7m in 2009, a third of which is provided by its London arm."

Tags: , newsquest, sutton, twickenham, newspapers, local newspapers, cuts, jobs