NUJ members across the Johnston Press group are to hold a group-wide industrial action ballot - the union's first such strike vote for more than 20 years.
The NUJ is opposing what it claims is Johnston management efforts to force through the introduction of the ATEX content management system with inadequate staffing and training.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “No-one should underestimate how angry journalists throughout the Johnston group are at the attacks on their jobs and working conditions and how despite the fact that they have taken on more skills and more work they are being rewarded with a further pay freeze and a new threat to jobs.
“They are also angry at the damage which this short-sighted management is doing to the 18 daily and 300 weekly newspapers which journalists produce for loyal communities across the UK. Staffing cuts are threatening the quality of those papers as our members struggle under unsustainable workloads. Ultimately, these changes are about cutting jobs. We will fight any threat of compulsory redundancies by the company. We will not stand by and allow a single member of staff to be made redundant.
“Editorial resources have been cut to the bone to pay for the Johnston debt mountain created through a foolish policy of buying up other titles at high cost. Now their bankers are telling them to start making repayments. Our members refuse to be the victims of that mismanagement car crash."
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