Strikes averted at Irish Johnston Press titles
24 November 2010
Strikes planned by NUJ chapels in Johnston Press (JP) owned titles in the Republic of Ireland have been averted. Jobs were saved after successful negotiations between the chapels and JP management.
Ballots in favour of industrial action had been passed in eight JP titles – The Limerick Leader, The Leinster Leader, The Clonmel Nationalist, The Tipperary Star, The Leitrim Observer, The Leinster Express, The Offaly Express and The Kilkenny People.
In the week following, the overwhelming ballot in favour of industrial action, negotiations took on a new vigour and many jobs under threat were saved. In other cases, redundancy was accepted after packages were improved.
Vacancies were created after the company accepted volunteers redundancy who had previously been rejected. Management gave assurances that issues that arose concerning the introduction of ATEX would be dealt with constructively with the chapels.
The Limerick Leader NUJ members deferred their strike action on the morning that it was due to take place. The chapel met, placards ready, to give consideration to a last minute offer from management. Five jobs were at risk at the newspaper.
The losses were mitigated against by the creation of two new posts, while others will be redeployed to other titles within the group. Staffing levels remain a major concern of the chapel whose newsroom produces five editions per week. The company gave assurances that workflow would be investigated by a member of senior management.
Nicola Coleman, NUJ Irish Organiser, said:
"The NUJ is proud of the stance that the chapels took. Their decision to take strike action was made not only to protect employment but also to protect the integrity of the profession of journalism and of the newspapers."