South Yorkshire Newspapers journalists ballot for strike
21 June 2011
Nearly twenty journalists at South Yorkshire Newspapers are to ballot on industrial action after members of the NUJ chapel voted no confidence in their management.
The NUJ members decided to hold the strike ballot over threatened editorial redundancies. The latest threatened cuts, reflecting 18 redundancies sought across South Yorkshire Newspapers, part of the Johnston Press stable, would cause particular damage to the weekly South Yorkshire Times title at its office in Mexborough.
The chapel cited a number of reasons for journalists' lack of confidence in their management, from serious on-going strategic mismanagement of the business to disgraceful mismanagement at divisional and local level.
Chris Morley, NUJ northern and midlands organiser, said:
"Management's proposals show how flimsy are the Johnston Press claims to believe in local journalism to serve the communities where its newspapers circulate.
"The company has chosen to attack the editorial department of one of the best performing titles for circulation in its stable. The South Yorkshire Times has fought hard for its reputation as a campaigning newspaper that digs out stories people want to read but this seems to cut no ice with the corporate bean counters.
"Our members are in no mood to accept these wholesale cuts, which merely undermine the jobs that remain for the future. It is a disastrous blend of hopelessness and defeatism and shows that Johnston Press has no idea or strategy to grow the business or defend its staff and customers with a positive strategy."