Strike ballot ordered at Herald group

THE National Union of Journalists has informed the publishers of The Herald newspaper it intends to ballot for strike action next week.

The decision by the union has been taken against Newsquest Strathclyde – which also boasts The Sunday Herald, the Evening Times and magazines in its division – and has been prompted by a dispute over the date when staff are paid.

The publishers want to move the date from the 20th of the month to the 26th; the union says this will disrupt the financial planning of many of its members and will result in penalties being incurred, for instance when switching direct debits. The union also says it has yet to be told any reason for the proposed switch in date.

Ballot papers for strike action or industrial action short of strike action will be issued next week, with a deadline for returns the following week.

The NUJ in Scotland is not in the habit of balloting for strike action.

Said Paul Holleran, the Scottish Organiser of the NUJ: “Staff are working really hard to get the papers out, because of staff shortages. It is involving a lot of goodwill and management have seriously under-estimated the anger they have caused. Real hardship will be caused for many should the date be shifted.”