Daily Record and Sunday Mail journalists in strike ballot

Trinity Mirror is facing a possible walkout by nearly all the journalists on its Scottish national titles.

Journalists on the Daily Record and Sunday Mail are holding an official strike ballot in protest over plans to cut 70 editorial jobs out of a total of 276.

Trinity Mirror announced last month that cuts were being made as it brought in a “single integrated editorial production operation” to produce both papers, plus free weekly The Glaswegian and free business weekly Business7.

Under the changes, Daily Record editor Bruce Waddell has become editor-in-chief of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, while Sunday Mail editor Allan Rennie has become editorial development director.

The NUJ said the job cuts were too severe and union representatives have come up with a compromise proposal which would see between 45 and 50 editorial posts cut, avoiding compulsory redundancies.

They have said they would be willing to look again at cutbacks arising from efficiencies brought about by the new editorial system.

The NUJ claims to have near 100 per cent membership among rank and file journalists on Trinity Mirror’s Scottish titles, with 240 in the chapel.

Journalists have been holding weekly chapel meetings since the job cuts were announced and at the latest on Friday – attended by around 180 members – they voted unanimously to hold an official strike ballot.

A result is expected by 30 March.

In addition to the cutbacks, journalists are also unhappy about draft rotas for the new merged production system.

According to the NUJ these would see a big increase in anti-social hours working – with some staff having to work six weekends in nine.

NUJ Scotland organiser Paul Holleran said: “People understand there are difficulties in the industry – but if you look at the proportion of Trinity Mirror profits that the Record and Sunday Mail are responsible for it seems that Trinity Mirror overall are dragging down the Scottish papers.

“Journalists are not prepared to accept compulsory redundancies and they are concerned that with these cuts there won’t be enough people left to do the work.”

Trinity Mirror Nationals managing director Mark Hollinshead said: “We are working closely with staff and the unions to achieve as many of the redundancies as possible by voluntary means.”

Archant protest

Journalists from Archant Norfolk are to hold a day of action in protest at plans to make a proposed 34 editorial staff redundant.

NUJ members on the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and associated titles are protest outside the Forum in Norwich between 11am and 2pm on Saturday.

Archant has reduced the job cuts figure from an earlier target of 54.

Early day motion

More than 70 MPs have signed an early day motion which regrets job cuts being made at “profitable local media” and which calls on the government to give state support only in return for guarantees on investment in journalism.

Early Day Motion 916 has attracted support from Conservative, Democatic Unionist, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Scottish Nationalist, and Social Democratic and Labour MPs.

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