Newsquest threatens to cut entire features team at The Herald
NUJ condemns move by Newsquest and warns members will resist at every turn.
The NUJ is to ballot for industrial action over proposed redundancies for the entire features staff at the Glasgow-based titles The Herald and Herald on Sunday.
The plans, which would see the loss of the entire staff team of six experienced and respected features writers, have been described as “short-sighted and fundamentally damaging to The Herald brand.” by the NUJ’s Herald and Times chapel, which represents members working for the Herald titles, the Glasgow Times, The National and Sunday National.
The NUJ Herald and Times chapel has written to senior management describing the decision as “callous and ill-justified,” and requesting evidence behind the company's decision.
With 140 years combined experience working for The Herald, members of the features team have garnered support from sister titles who are standing in solidarity with colleagues. NUJ members at the Glasgow Times and The National have undertaken an indicative ballot alongside members at the Herald, with results indicating strong support for strike action.
Last month, publisher Newsquest acquired Archant. The NUJ wrote to Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest chief executive, requesting a meeting seeking clarity on the new deal and impact on terms and conditions of employees amid fears that the takeover would lead to cuts and increased workload.
Nick McGowan-Lowe, organiser at the NUJ Scottish Office, said:
"Newsquest has an opportunity to reverse this decision and do what’s right. The features team make a significant contribution to the success of The Herald and the proposals by the company are short-sighted and will irrevocably damage readership and the Herald brand."