Redundancies Fear Could Spark Strike Notice

The National Union of Journalists could find itself tomorrow issuing a notice of industrial action against the Herald group of newspapers, amid fears that the company may be announcing compulsory redundancies.

The union is expecting, any moment, to learn the fate of half a dozen Evening Times staff who appear to be neither wanted by their current editor nor by sister paper, The Herald. While applications for voluntary redundancy from The Herald could be granted, were a switch in staff to take place, it could only happen easily were those coming in able to do the jobs of those wanting to leave.

Some voluntary redundancy packages have been already granted at the group, as it seeks a budget cut of upto three million pounds.

But the NUJ has made it clear, from the outset, that it will seek to ballot members on industrial action at the first sign of compulsory redundancies.

In the current issue of the NUJ magazine, Journalist, Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, is quoted: “I’ve never seen a workforce have so little confidence in their employer as I have [here] over the last few months. I have to keep reminding people they risk being sued for breach of contract if they simply walk out to the leave the papers in the lurch. But that is the mood in the offices.”

The union has welcomed news that the Herald group’s head of human resources, Tamsin Burns, is leaving – though the reason for her departure is not yet clear. Relations are said to have been strained between them. “I can safely say I have never had industrial relations with this woman,” Holleran told Spike.

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