Newsquest journalists vote for strike action over planned 270 mile subbing move

Newsquest journalists working in the North East of England have voted for strike action following the company’s plan to move sub-editors to Wales.

Under the company’s plan, more than 20 jobs will be lost in the region as editorial production is moved to its Newport subbing hub.

The plan hits newspapers in Darlington, York and Bradford.

Members of the National Union of Journalists in Darlington have voted by 75 percent in favour of strike action. A total of 93 percent of members have voted for action short of strike action.

Ballots in York and Bradford will close on 5 February.

The Darlington chapel said: "We are delighted to get such a strong vote in favour of industrial action. It clearly shows the strength of feeling among members against the proposals to transfer the work to Wales and potential redundancies. We, along with the York and Bradford chapels, will continue to fight to retain members' jobs and keep production of our valued publications in the North."

The cuts will hit the Northern Echo, Living magazine, Darlington and Stockton Times, Durham Times, Advertiser series and Northern Farmer.

Jane Kennedy, assistant organiser Northern and Midlands region, said: "We are delighted with the ballot result. But, it comes as no surprise. People are angry at  he proposed moved to Newport which they believe will significantly diminish the quality of the papers produced and their connection to the local communities, create impossible workloads for those staff who are left and cause distress and hardship to those who lose their jobs.

"The callous way this has been handled has left hard-working and dedicated journalists feeling as if they are no more than numbers on a balance sheet. The strength of the result shows that they wanted their voices to be heard loudly and clearly that enough is enough. We look forward to the ballot results in York and Bradford next week and have every confidence that they too will produce a yes vote."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: "This is a very strong vote for action, which reflects the attitude  of the staff, and I expect the chapels in York and Bradford to follow suit. Newsquest, an American-owned company, clearly has no loyalty to its readers or staff. Local papers should be produced in the heart of the communities they serve, not 200 miles away in another country."

 

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