Daily Record staff to vote again on industrial action

Daily Record: made redundancies

Journalists at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail are to ballot next week on industrial action for the second time in a month.

Two one-day strikes planned for today and next Friday by the NUJ were called off to comply with legal requirements.

Industrial action was agreed by 75 per cent of the 173 NUJ members on both papers on 13 April. This allowed the NUJ up to 28 days to give seven days’ notice of strike action.

Management held an initial meeting with Acas, but did not respond for eight days, by which time the 28-day period in which strikes could be called had expired .

However, management claimed Acas told it to come back after eight days since there was no point in responding until then because NUJ organiser Paul Holleran was away.

The dispute follows the Daily Record and Sunday Mail management’s decision to make the positions of 10 staff in its picture retouching department redundant.

Three were selected to join the advertising department and seven were offered redundancy. Three have left, having accepted severance packages.

Of the remaining four, three are NUJ members, one of whom has now been redeployed. Negotiations between the company and the three remaining staff continue.

A management spokesman said it was made clear at the outset that an initial meeting had been agreed with Acas to explore what form its involvement might take and there was never any suggestion that this was formal arbitration.

“There is no going back on the commercial decisions we have made, which will strengthen our business and improve the quality of our papers.

“We are doing everything we can to achieve a negotiated settlement that matches the best interests of the business and all its employees.”

Holleran accused management of acting in “bad faith”.

He said: “You have to question why, when they met Acas on 26 April, it took them eight days to carry out exploratory talks. That coincided with the deadline running out on 4 May.

“In the past when there have been redundancies we have ensured that those have been voluntary or jobs have been redeployed.”

By Hamish Mackay

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