Mirror Group Newspapers is understood to have threatened to seek an injunction against the British Association of Journalists after union members earlier this week voted in favour of strike action at the publishing group.
Following the successful strike ballot, Trinity Mirror told Press Gazette yesterday it had taken advice that the “format and conduct of the strike ballot was deeply flawed” and asked the BAJ to confirm that it would not call a strike based on the result.
DLA Piper, the solicitor acting for MGN, is understood to have written to the union alleging “defective aspects” in the ballot process.
An injunction is understood to have been threatened unless the BAJ supplied a written undertaking that it would not call a strike based on the result of the ballot.
Press Gazette understands that the BAJ has now written to MGN’s solicitor rejecting the national newspaper publisher’s demands and accusing it of attempting to take “unmeritorious technical points to frustrate the results of a lawful ballot”.
Trinity Mirror declined to make any additional comment when contacted by Press Gazette earlier today.
Members of the BAJ union working across the three London-based national newspaper titles run by MGN have yet to decide what, if any, industrial action will be taken as a result of their ballot.
Press Gazette understands that BAJ members are due to meet again on Wednesday to consider the result of the vote and decide what action to take.
The strike ballot was set in motion last month by an announcement from Trinity Mirror, parent company of MGN, of plans to cut around 200 editorial jobs across the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People.
Around 60 casuals are expected to be dropped with the remaining 140 cuts coming from the staff journalists – reducing the total editorial workforce from its current level of 554.
Trinity Mirror plans to adopt a multimedia newsroom similar to those introduced at its regional newspaper centres and to outsource much of its sub-editing.
Managers at MGN are understood to be in discussions solely with the Press Association over proposals to outsource certain production tasks.
Press Gazette revealed last week that around 32 journalists had so far applied under the voluntary redundancy scheme put in place by Trinity Mirror.