The NUJ says around 150 journalists employed by Trinity Mirror in the Midlands are to ballot for industrial action over the company’s failure to rule out job cuts and changes to their papers.
They are members of the NUJ chapels at the Birmingham Post and Mail, Coventry Newspapers and Trinity Mirror Midlands Weeklies.
The NUJ revealed last week what it said were secret management plans to close eight weekly titles, scale back the frequency of the daily Birmingham Post and turn the Mail into an overnight paper.
Members of all three chapels agreed to ballot when the company refused to guarantee that they would rule out the changes or compulsory redundancies as a result, the union said.
Chris Morley, NUJ organiser for the north of England, said: “In the last year these titles have lost more than 70 editorial posts and the journalists who work for them have had their workloads expanded to serve websites as well as papers.
“More cuts will mean an impossible workload and a drastic reduction of the local news and information service.”
Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, added: “These journalists are proud of the titles they work for which have a place at the heart of their communities. They want to protect jobs and provide a service-to-be-proud of for readers and advertisers. If such major cuts go through the viability of all the papers will be in doubt. The whole union will support them.”