Ballot being called at Daily Record/Sunday Mail

BALLOT papers about possible industrial action are being sent on Friday to members of the National Union of Journalists working at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

It follows company plans (reported here) to shed 70 of the papers’ 256-strong staff in the wake of merging the production of both titles, under the leadership of Bruce Waddell, installed in the newly-created position of editor-in-chief. The ballot has been called because of fears of compulsory redundancy.

The company says it is trying to ensure any redundancy is voluntary.

The NUJ’s Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, explained: “The chapel is really worried about compulsory redundancy and although we have collected some names, of people seeking voluntary redundancy, I don’t expect it will be as many as the company will be looking for. There are no jobs for people to leave the papers for and people like working at the papers, they want to stay.”

The ballot will ask NUJ members to vote on industrial action short of strike action and also industrial action upto and including strike action.

Adds Holleran: “There are also concerns about the working conditions of those who will be remaining after the cutback has been completed, about long hours, working six out of nine weekends, about really tough work rotas.”

Barely six months ago, Record and Mail staff were ‘working to rule’ following concerns about working conditions.

Says Mark Hollinshead, Trinity Mirror’s managing director (nationals): “We are working with the uinion – day-by-day, hour-by-hour – to achieve redundancies via voluntary means.”