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Two more strike days announced at Scottish nationals

9 April 2009

NUJ members at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Scotland are to follow up tomorrow's one-day strike over job cuts with a 48-hour stoppage next Friday and Saturday. They are urging journalists, trades unionists, readers and advertisers to join them at a mass picket outside their Glasgow headquarter tomorrow at 1pm.

Over 200 union members have also passed a motion of no confidence in Trinity Mirror's Scottish management. A mass meeting in Glasgow expressed disgust about the way individuals were told they were compulsorily redundant.

Union members called for the reinstatement of the 20 odd journalists selected for the chop and demanded the union pursue every way at their disposal to challenge the dismissals.

Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish Organiser, backed the call and told the meeting:

"We will step up industrial action, taking more strike action next week as well as pursuing all legal action possible, both collectively and on behalf of individuals.
"It is also time for the politicians to put more pressure on the people at the top of the table at the Record and Mail and demand reinstatement of our members."

The unanimous motion of no confidence named managing director Mark Hollinshead and HR director Lesley Somerville. NUJ members slammed Trinity Mirror HR director Somerville over the way the redundancy selection had been handled.

NUJ officials have been told that she:

  • Did not know who some of the relevant line managers were when asked who had carried out the marking.
  • Was mistaken or lied about certain line managers taking part in the selection process.
  • Could not provide answers when asked where individuals had marked poorly.
  • Struggled when challenged by members over their marking.

Paul Holleran said:

"One member was told he was bottom of the list, marked on technical ability, absenteeism and discipline.
"He was somewhat surprised as he has just been nominated for two awards, he has only been off a handful of times in all his years at the company and had no disciplinary record. He told me the others must be very good if he was bottom of the lot.
"It is a disgrace and we will expose and pursue this and other examples like this in the courts."

Chapel members had already given notice of a strike tomorrow – the management have been informed today about next week's 48-hour walkout. The union will also be seeking what's called a protective award against the company as part of the legal action over the redundancies starting this week.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"I applaud the Record and Mail chapel for their determined defence of colleagues under threat of redundancy.
"I urge all NUJ members who can to join them in Glasgow on Good Friday lunchtime to support their demonstration.
"I also call on NUJ chapels and branches to make regular collections to split between the strike funds of journalists in Scotland and Yorkshire who are taking industrial action to stand up for journalists and journalism."

Tags: , newspapers, trinity mirror, scotland, strike, cuts, redundancies, daily record, sunday mail, glasgow, protective award, picket