Strike threat over Independent and Standard job cuts

NUJ members at The Independent and Evening Standard titles are threatening to take industrial action in protest at plans to cut jobs across the papers.

Twenty jobs have been earmarked to go across the Evening Standard, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday and i when they merge their sports and business departments next month.

Today the NUJ issued a statement saying it will serve notice of an industrial ballot unless the threat of compulsory redundancies is withdrawn.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: ‘The Independent’s editor Chris Blackhurst said there would be ‘genuine consultation’ – he should keep his word and get back around the negotiating table.

‘The editorial staff is already cut to the bone, after several rounds of redundancies. The NUJ will defend its members’ jobs and we will support the chapel in a strike ballot for industrial action, unless the management withdraws its threat of compulsory redundancies.”

Management at the papers are hopeful of voluntary redundancies and kicked off a one-month consultation with staff at the beginning of November.

Speaking to Press Gazette earlier this month Blackhurst said the decision to merge the sports and business teams was taken after consultants were called in to carry out an efficiency review.

‘All this is predicated on the fact that we are brother and sister titles,’he said. ‘It’s one source of money and we need to use our resources as efficiently as we can”

The Independent titles employ 175 journalists.

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