Herald’s NUJ chapel to ballot on possible industrial action

THE National Union of Journalists’ chapel at the Herald & Times Group – publisher of The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times newspapers – is to ballot on possible industrial action.

It follows an announcement last week that around 17 production and picture desk posts are at risk of redundancy as new editorial technology is introduced to make production more efficient.

A spokesperson for the Group declined to comment, but Paul Holleran, Scottish Organiser of the NUJ, said: “The NUJ approached [owners] Newsquest management around three weeks ago, seeking more staff for a beleaguered workforce, particularly production where a number of members have been, or are, off with stress.

“We are now facing up to 20 redundancies and although we were prepared to try and work with management, as we did successfully at The Scotsman, there appears to be little or willingness on the Newsquest side to compromise.

“We fought a successful legal action a few years ago to protect our redundancy terms and it now looks like we might have to do the same again. If they want a smooth restructuring, they need to be flexible with the terms. Members are really angry and are calling for industrial action across the whole of Newsquest. The least management can do is slow down the process and enter into meaningful talks with the union.”

It is understood that ballot papers might go out sometime next week. Management is also understood to have been asked by the chapel to extend the deadline for applications for voluntary redundancy, which is believed to be Monday.