Wednesday 13 April 2011

NUJ to ballot Newsquest staff in North on action

Nearly 80 NUJ members in the North of England are to vote on industrial action to stop plans by Newsquest to axe 14 jobs in Darlington and York.

Management wants to transfer editorial production of Newsquest’s free weekly titles in Darlington and York, together with paid for weeklies and magazines, to Bradford over the next six months. Sub-editing of the dailies would remain at the existing locations.

NUJ members at Darlington, Durham, Northallerton, Bishop Auckland and York will take part in the ballot, which closes on Tuesday May 3. The NUJ said it sought region-wide consultation on the management proposals from Newsquest’s regional managing director.

The union said this was necessary because of the nature of the plans involving three journalist chapels so that a better idea could be ascertained of what the impact would be. But this was turned down.

NUJ northern and midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “Newsquest needs to convince us, their staff and in all probability themselves, that this plan can work but management has shied away from that debate. At some point Newsquest will have to stop the cuts and start taking all their staff with them – in all senses of the words.

“Journalists at Newsquest have endured a series of damaging job cuts and illogical centralisation of editorial production through schemes which are destroying the quality of their newspapers and reader confidence. The effect on the morale of dedicated professional journalists has been shocking.

“So, the decision to vote on industrial action was inevitable following the latest attack on jobs and security by this discredited management. The NUJ is ready to defend our members and quality journalism with fierce determination”

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