Journalists at the North West Evening Mail have voted in favour of strike action in protest to possible job cuts, staffing levels and long work hours.
The National Union of Journalists said last night that 26 of its members at the Evening Mail voted in favour of a walkout, with just one voting against.
It isn’t yet known how many staff members took part in the ballot at the Barrow-in-Furness-based newspaper.
CN Group, the independent family-ownedpublisher which owns the Evening Mail, last month proposed cutting up to 29 jobs and implementing a company-wide pay freeze to ensure financial stability across the group in the coming year.
Staff cuts of 12-16 posts are expected at Cumbrian Newspapers, which is based in Carlisle, while 10-13 staff jobs are expected to go from its Furness Newspapers business, which is based in Barrow.
The NUJ said yesterday the sub-editing section in Barrow has been targeted for severe cuts.
The union claimed management has imposed a new one-shift system to replace the previous three-shift system and said that one of its members was facing compulsory redundancy.
Chris Morley, NUJ regional organiser, raised fears that working conditions would deteriorate for those remaining staff if several others left the company.
He said: “Members are not prepared to see a substantially increased workload on those who remain.
“Health and safety is already under threat from long hours and journalists on the North West Evening Mail fear that the planned reorganisation will make things worse.”
Jonathan Lee, publishing director of the Evening Mail, told Press Gazette: “We are aware of the result of the ballot. We are not aware of the union contemplating any action at this stage.”