THE National Union of Journalists, having conducted one ballot of its members at The Herald group of newspapers, such as The Herald and Sunday Herald, is to conduct a second, following a breakdown in talks yesterday with management.
The union had hoped the talks would result in management agreeing to abandon plans to shift the date staff are paid. But despite the ballot returning a 93.8 per cent vote in favour of some form of action, such as a work to rule, against the date shift (with 86.5 per cent in favour of strike action), management were seemingly not prepared to budge.
The union’s concern is that a change in the pay date – from the 20th to the 26th – will cause hardship for members, though Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, conceded that management would consider paying compensation to anyone who can show evidence of being penalised by having to change any direct debits to accommodate the date change.
But when presented with the possibility of management picking over technicalities in the ballot, he immediately ordered a second. And this time, printers are to be balloted also, by their union, Amicus.
Yesterday’s meeting will not have been helped by the absence, on holiday, of some key management personnel, though Holleran himself cut short a holiday, in Spain, to attend.
“Management have under-estimated the strength of feeling over this issue, it has united the whole workforce,” said Holleran.