Independent journalists vote for industrial action

Journalists at Independent News and Media have voted in favour of industrial action – and will start with a mandatory chapel meeting next Friday evening, as deadlines approach.

National Union of Journalists members at The Independent and Independent on Sunday voted 64 per cent in favour of a strike, and 80 per cent in favour of action short of a strike.

The chapel decided to hold a mandatory meeting between 5pm and 7pm on Friday 6 March.

The ballot was called due to anger at November’s announcement that Independent News and Media was cutting 90 jobs from its two titles, with 60 in editorial, to save £10m.

Some staff are also upset at the move from Canary Wharf, east London, to Associated Newspapers‘ headquarters in Kensington, west London, due to take place in April.

More than 30 journalists have been accepted for voluntary redundancy, but others have been turned down.

NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick said: “We are today serving notice on the company of the chapel’s intention to hold a mandatory meeting next Friday.

“At the same time, we are extending a further invitation to management to discuss ways to avoid compulsory redundancies.

“We are urging management to seek authorisation from Dublin [where INM is based] for them to negotiate a sensible outcome to this dispute.”

The last national newspaper strike, a 24-hour walkout at Express Newspapers last April, was the first since a Daily Telegraph strike in 1990.

The Independent – which increased its cover price to £1 last year – has seen its circulation plummet in recent years.

In January, its circulation was 215,504, down 14 per cent year on year.

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