Fight for jobs will go on, say Newsquest Glasgow staff

Staff at Newsquest’s three Glasgow titles has said they ‘will not give up the fight’to save jobs and maintain editorial standards as the bitter industrial dispute moves into its third week.

Industrial action at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times looked set to escalate on Friday when staff at the Evening Times and Sunday Herald planned to walk out.

As with the strike two weeks ago, Sunday Herald staff will not return until Monday – this time the action coincides with a planned redesign.

Staff at The Herald staged a 24-hour walkout last Wednesday with some 180 journalists downing tools and activists manning a picket line from 9am until 6pm.

In all the strikes so far the papers have been published as normal.

Evening Times deputy father of chapel Gordon Thomson was indefinitely suspended from work for meeting with union officials last Friday – but reinstated on Tuesday after the NUJ threatened legal action.

Staff across the three titles are working to rule – not working unpaid overtime and taking hourly screen breaks.

A senior journalist at one of the titles, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Once we started the action the mood has improved immeasurably… there has been great camaraderie. At each paper there are only a handful of people who are not involved in the action.

‘It’s reminded us that we are The Herald, we are the Evening Times, we are the guardians of these papers. Newsquest are just looking after them for a while.”

The journalist said there had been no talk among workers of backing down despite the dispute essentially boiling down to a proposed compulsory redundancy.

‘I am not worried about trying to find a quick resolution, we are not in the business of sweeping this under the carpet,’he said.

The dispute now centres on at least one compulsory redundancy – the NUJ claims there are more – at the Evening Times, as part of a cost-cutting drive to save £3m.

Newsquest managing director Tim Blott said he had no comment to make other than that all three titles would be published as normal

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