Daily Record set for midnight walkout

All but a ‘handful’ of the 278 journalists on the Glasgow-based Daily Record and Sunday Mail titles will go out on strike on Saturday, according to the National Union of Journalists.

Talks between NUJ representatives and Trinity Mirror management failed to make any progress yesterday afternoon.

The 24-hour-stoppage now looks almost certain to go ahead from midnight tonight [Friday].

Trinity Mirror plans to cut 70 editorial jobs after moving the titles to a new combined editorial system.

The NUJ has come up with alternative proposals which would see up to 50 jobs cut, but would avoid compulsory redundancies. But according to the NUJ, Trinity Mirror management insisted yesterday they would make compulsory redundancies.

One journalist at the Glasgow titles said they believed staff were being flown up from London tomorrow to help get the papers out.

But a Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “That’s rubbish. Our own senior team will produce our newspapers and we have a well developed contingency plan in place.”

NUJ Scotland organiser Paul Holleran said: “Lots of senior staff are refusing to cross the picket line and lots of freelances and casuals have said the same. There will only be a handful of people in.”

Holleran said he understands that moves to make compulsory redundancies are already underway and said that if these continue “the whole thing will escalate”.

He said: “They are looking to bring in a new production system. If they select anyone for compulsory redundancy there will be no co-operation on that. The damage it will cause will far surpass anything management have seen before.”

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “We are committed to working with the union to resolve this dispute and we are making every effort to avoid industrial action. Nobody can say categorically how many staff will strike until the day itself.

“Calling the strike while the consultation process was ongoing was a reckless decision by the union and will help nobody. We fully appreciate that this is difficult for all involved, but it is absolutely vital that we take action now to safeguard the future of our newspapers.”

One Trinity Mirror journalist told Press Gazette that the cuts were being made despite the fact that staff have been told that the Sunday Mail and Daily Record made profits of £15-18m last year.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said that they did not public breakdown the profits made by the Scottish titles but said: “This is about the future, we must modernise the business to survive in the new media economy and we will not be deterred from that goal.”

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