Strike action reprieve for Herald Group newspapers

ALLMEDIASCOTLAND understands that the Herald & Times Group of newspapers – The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times – are to be spared strike action, in protest at the compulsory redundancy of half a dozen editorial posts.

A mass meeting this afternoon of members of the National Union of Journalists is believed to have decided to extend a work-to-rule, that began on Monday and includes the withdrawal of goodwill and flexibility.

It had been mooted that strike action would take place at the papers both tomorrow and Friday.

recent ballot of NUJ members at the papers delivered a 91 per cent vote in favour of industrial action short of strike action and a 78 per cent vote for industrial action including strike action.

Said Paul Holleran, the Scottish Organiser of the NUJ: “The decision not to strike was unanimous and taken partly because a lot of the pages [that might have been affected by strike action] had been prepared in advance by senior management. There was also an overriding concern expressed about the quality of the papers and there was a feeling that the NUJ might get the blame if the new-look Sunday Herald [it becomes a news magazine, as of Sunday] isn’t a success.”

In November, the papers’ owners announced it was looking to axe posts as part of a cost-cutting drive, insodoing appealing for applications for voluntary redundancy. When not enough volunteers came forward, staff were then assessed for compulsory redundancy.

Lawyers have hired by the NUJ to pursue individual and collective cases on behalf of the staff made compulsorily redundant.