Journalists at the Tindle newspapers in North London are to hold a fresh ballot on industrial action in their dispute over staffing levels.
The NUJ chapel at Sir Ray Tindle’s Enfield-based North London and Herts Newspapers group held a series of strikes across the bank holiday weeks earlier this month and staged a mock funeral for their titles.
The union says more than a third of editorial staff have left the North London papers without being replaced, and key positions remain unfilled.
In a post on their strike blog, the journalists claim: "Having returned to work after two high-profile weeks of strike action we received three weeks of silence from management and then… an announcement that all our freelance budget was going to be cut! Unbelievable.
"It means no more photographers to help the two full-timers over weekends or on evening jobs, no more freelance sub-editors who help out our couple of staff members sub the vast amount of copy, no more journalists who fill in and help write the many articles when a couple of the reporters are away on holiday.
"It has added insult to injury and is a real kick in the teeth for an already demoralised workforce."NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick met with Tindle management last week, and said those talks had been positive. “The discussions enabled us and management to clarify our positions. Though the talks didn’t actually change anything, they did show that both sides still wish to resolve the dispute.
“We are now preparing for a fresh ballot on industrial action, because the time frame for action under the original ballot is about to expire. I am now seeking a formal meeting with the company to discuss staffing levels at Enfield.”
Pic: Mock funeral in Enfield (Jon Slattery)