Strike suspended as Herald bosses agree to NUJ talks

The NUJ has claimed a victory in its long-running dispute with Newsquest Glasgow, after managing director Tim Blott agreed to meet officials for wide-ranging talks this week.

Staff at the Sunday Herald and Evening Times were out on strike last Friday for half an hour before news of a reconciliation broke.

Journalists then left the picket line and returned to work. Work-to-rule conditions imposed by the union have now been lifted.

This Tuesday’s meeting, between Blott and NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran, was expected to deal with redundancies, early retirement, training and a new content management system due to be introduced next month.

The NUJ has voiced concerns that Newsquest might use the system as an opportunity to begin another review of staff numbers.

A joint statement from Newsquest and the NUJ said: ‘The industrial action involving the NUJ has been suspended pending talks.

‘The NUJ and Newsquest (Herald & Times Group) management agree to open talks on the introduction of the new editorial production system.

‘If it is established that the new system may lead to redundancies, then the parameters of the talks will begin with the previously agreed process.

‘This will entail seeking volunteers, early retirements, retraining, redeployment and any other alternative before discussing the possibility of demands for compulsory redundancies.”

Keith Sinclair, deputy father of chapel at the NUJ Glasgow branch, said: ‘We will seek to cooperate with management but it is important to stress again that compulsory redundancies – whether it be one or 100 – is the line in the sand for the NUJ.

‘If there is any attempt by the

company to cross that line again, the NUJ will withdraw from talks and

we will again be in dispute with management and could again take industrial action.”

A series of walkouts in recent weeks has seen around 250 out of 300 journalists strike at the Herald titles and the Evening Times.

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