THE NUJ yesterday demonstrated a show of strength to counter any allegations that a recent vote in favour of industrial action at the Herald group of newspapers might be unrepresentative.
Tomorrow, NUJ members at the group – which includes The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times – are expected to stage a walk-out, in protest at proposed sackings of staff at the Evening Times.
The group’s owners are seeking a budget cut of upto three million pounds and, already, various staff have had applications for voluntary redundancy accepted.
But while the ballot conducted by the NUJ delivered overwhelming votes in favour of industrial action, including a strike, and also industrial action, short of a strike, the turn-out was just 26 per cent. The NUJ has put this down to industrial action being conducted by postal workers and also staff being on summer holiday.
So, to prove that the votes (74.3 per cent for industrial action, including a strike; 87.3 per cent for industrial action, short of a strike) truly represent staff views, around 60 per cent of the 270 NUJ members at the group attended a mass meeting yesterday afternoon to make their feelings known.
And when asked to demonstrate their support for the walk-out, with a show of hands, only two people voted against.