Strike off at Derry Journal after three jobs saved

The dispute at the Derry Journal in Northern Ireland has ended after management confirmed three threatened compulsory redundancies had been saved.

Johnston Press announced in December it was cutting seven jobs at the title, plus others across its Northern Ireland division.

In Derry, four journalists volunteered for redundancy, with three accepted – meaning there were still four compulsory redundancies threatened.

The National Union of Journalists chapel responded by voting 88 per cent in favour of a strike, with 100 per cent in favour of some form of industrial action.

Since then, however, a further voluntary redundancy was accepted and three new posts – two part-time – have been created.

The chapel – which was due to have talks at the Labour Relations Agency today – said in a statement: “The chapel welcome the news that there will be no further redundancies at the Derry Journal and in that regard agree that the dispute is resolved.

“It is very much regretted that the past three months of uncertainty have placed all staff at the Derry Journal under severe stress and anxiety, to the detriment of our working environment.

“We at the Derry Journal are understandably relieved that this lengthy dispute has come to an end and that it was resolved in our favour.

“As a result of this process, we have safeguarded jobs at the paper and hopefully highlighted the importance of a strong, dedicated chapel and an appreciated workforce.”

NUJ Irish organiser Nicola Coleman said: “Even though only a minority of NUJ members were under threat, the solidarity and determination the Derry Journal chapel has ensured that those vulnerable workers were protected.

“In light of the strength of feeling illustrated by the ballot it was clear management would have to revaluate their position.

“The NUJ are thankful that a concerted effort was made on the part of the company to resolve the dispute.”

Johnston Press is still in dispute with journalists in Leeds, who have held 13 days of strikes this year.

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