NUJ to sound out Johnston Press staff on company-wide ballot

The National Union of Journalists has started sounding out members on Johnston Press newspapers across the UK to ask if there should be a company-wide ballot on possible industrial action in protest to proposed pension changes.

Senior figures from the NUJ meet with managers at Johnston Press last month for talks about the publishers plan to close its final pension salary scheme.

Johnston Press, which publishes titles including the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post, threatened to close the scheme for existing members at the end of June because of rising costs.

The publisher plans to offer the 960 affected staff – around 15 per cent of the total workforce – an alternative scheme.

Now NUJ officials are now talking to chapels for their views on whether to call for an industrial action ballot, reported allmediascotland.com.

Paul Holleran, Scottish NUJ organiser, told allmediascotland.com: “Our members are angry at the serious financial situation the company is in because of the strategy of expansion through acquisitions by senior executives of Johnston Press.

‘NUJ members have co-operated with new technology, redundancies and restructuring but now are being asked to accept the scrapping of the final salary pension scheme and take another pay freeze, so it is not a surprise to me that there is a demand from certain areas for a ballot to explore industrial action.”

Johnston Press has yet to come back to Press Gazette after a request for comment

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