Re-run ballot delivers another resounding vote in favour of industrial action at Herald group

A RE-RUN ballot of members of the National Union of Journalists has delivered another resounding vote in favour of industrial action at The Herald group of newspapers.

Says the NUJ, the ballot “resulted in an increased turnout, with over 97 per cent voting in favour of industrial action”.

Continues the union: “The dispute is over enforced compulsory redundancies on effectively what are statutory terms, as the company try and make savings on the back of new technology.”

Says the NUK, the vote ended up as follows:

* Are you prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike? Number voting YES – 97.2 per cent; number voting NO – 2.8 per cent.

* Are you prepared to take part in strike action? Number voting YES – 76.4 per cent; number voting NO – 23.6 per cent.

The re-run was required because of concerns the original ballot might fall foul of employment legislation. It resulted in a planned work-to-rule being dropped. The Herald group includes The Herald newspaper along with sister titles, the Evening Times and the Sunday Herald.

In a NUJ statement, Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, is quoted, as saying: “This shows the strength of feeling among editorial staff against the harsh imposition of job cuts on the cheap. This company needs to understand the NUJ will not stand back and let members be treated like this. We offered to negotiate the changes as we have done in other newspaper companies but for some reason Newsquest preferred conflict to a constructive partnership approach.”

A chapel meeting will take place this week to discuss the next steps.

A Herald & Times Group spokesman confirmed that the company had been notified by the NUJ of the results of a ballot of members.

He said he noted the numbers who voted: 45 per cent of the those eligible to vote went for strike action, and 56 per cent of this eligible to vote went for industrial action.