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Times editor under fire for compulsory redundancies

2 June 2010

James Harding, editor of The Times, is under fire from the NUJ for the way in which jobs have been cut at the newspaper.

James Harding, until recently a member of the NUJ, faced a rare internal union complaint from Donnacha DeLong, NUJ vice president, accusing him of "actions that threaten the livelihoods and working conditions of members." James Harding resigned from the NUJ as a result.

The complaint came as The Times implemented one of its biggest round of job cuts in many years with 50 positions due to go. Forty people have applied for voluntary redundancy; ten people are being recruited to fill some gaps left by those people and 20 journalists are facing compulsory redundancy.

The allegations against James Harding centre on enforced job cuts and job changes during his time as editor and previously business editor in which, according to the complaint, procedures required by employment law were not followed.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said:

"Employment rights are for everyone. The Times may be able to get individuals to sign away their rights by throwing money at them and gagging them but the union won't keep quiet about such abuses. No one is above the law."

James Harding was a member of the union for 16 years until he resigned from the NUJ. He has declined to comment. Successive rounds of job cuts at The Times are often overlooked from outside the paper because departures are subject to compromise agreements that invariably carry gagging clauses.

Tags: , the times, james harding, rights, cuts, redundancies, complaints