Second Walk-out On

A second walk-out of staff from the Herald group of newspaper goes ahead today – with the disruption taking place at a different time to the last occasion.

On Friday, around 200 staff walked out at 3pm; today, the walk-out takes place from 9am, for 24 hours, and is targeted specifically at The Herald newspaper. A picket line will be in operation until 6pm. Friday’s action was the first strike at the group in around a quarter of a century.

It followed a ballot of NUJ members in response to company plans to sack staff at the Evening Times newspaper, as part of a proposed budget cut of up to three million pounds across the group – which also includes the Sunday Herald newspaper and magazine division, Caledonian Publishing.

The advice on Friday from the NUJ was that freelancers who do casual shifts at the papers, and who are members of the NUJ, will be able to access an union hardship fund to compensate for loss of earnings. And freelancers submitting copy or photographs are being asked not to do more than they’d otherwise. That remains the case today.

Says the union: “We would obviously like freelances not to contribute during the strike action, but we also don’t want to jeopardise their positions. The union is setting up a fund to compensate our regular casuals, from chapel funds, to avoid hardship. Some freelances have said they will not submit copy; others will send the usual, but no more.”

It is understood freelance support for Friday’s walk-out was very strong.

Meanwhile, an online petition organised by the NUJ – claiming the titles are not safe in the hands of owners, Newsquest – has so far received 1740 signatures. See here.

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