RBI journalists vote against industrial action

Journalists at magazine publisher Reed Business Information have voted against industrial action – but the union chapel has pledged to “continue its campaign”.

In the National Union of Journalists ballot, which ended last week, 64 members voted in favour of industrial action – but 111 voted against.

The chapel had campaigned for a yes vote, in an attempt to “defend journalistic standards”. RBI’s titles include The New Scientist and Computer Weekly.

NUJ national organiser for publishing Sue Harris said: “The decision on whether or not to take industrial action always sits with the chapel itself, and on this occasion it has decided not to take action.

“Throughout the last few weeks the union has been making it clear to management that members are not satisfied with the way it is dealing with restructuring and we hope that employees’ concerns will now be addressed by management in our negotiations.

“The NUJ’s Reed Elsevier group chapel is set to meet shortly to decide how to continue its campaign to ensure that all staff are treated fairly in redundancy situations.”

An RBI spokesman said: “RBI UK is pleased that no further action will be taking place in this dispute, particularly in light of the current economic climate.

“We remain committed to working constructively with the NUJ in the future.”

The ballot was called after RBI announced in January it was cutting 35 jobs – with five redundancies in editorial.

Of those, three were at Flight International and ICIS, the chemical business magazine, due to their production desks merging.

One production journalist and one features writer at Travel Weekly also left, but have offers of freelance work with RBI.

RBI’s profits fell by five per cent last year, but parent company Reed Elsevier enjoyed an operating profit of £1.38bn – up 21 per cent year on year

Reed Elsevier – which tried to sell RBI last year – views the publisher as a “non-core asset” and will attempt to sell again in the “medium term”.

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