100% vote in favour of industrial action at Derry Journal

Journalists at the Johnston Press-owned Derry Journal have voted in favour of strike action in response to “centralised subbing” plans.

The National Union of Journalists ballot returned 88 per cent in favour of a strike, with 100 per cent in favour of some form of industrial action.

In December, Johnston Press announced plans to cut 11 jobs by centralising subbing across Northern Ireland at a production centre in Craigavon, near Portadown.

Since then, according to the NUJ, 15 members of staff across the Northern Ireland division have accepted voluntary redundancy, but seven posts remain under threat in Derry.

Talks are now planned on Tuesday at the Labour Relations Agency, the conciliation service.

A Derry Journal chapel spokesman said: “We are delighted with today’s result – it confirms the strength of feeling among our editorial department and our determination to resist any compulsory redundancies.

“Changes made by Johnston Press, such as continual cuts in budgets and staffing levels, have contributed to a reduction in standards at the Derry Journal.

“This newspaper has been part of the fabric of Derry for hundreds of years and we will fight to retain its integrity and its local appeal.”

NUJ Irish Organiser Nicola Coleman added: “The strong vote in favour of industrial action shows the strength of feeling over these changes.

“We have talks next week at the LRA and this ballot vote should show the company that they need to come with a solution to the dispute.

“The Derry Journal is rooted in its community and we know the journalists have the support of the community in fighting these cutbacks.”

Johnston Press journalists at the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post are currently on the second of two four-day strikes in protest at compulsory redundancies.

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