Strike ballot at Newsquest Glasgow

Journalists at the Glasgow Evening Times, Herald and Sunday Herald newspapers may strike in protest at the way the newspapers are being run.

The NUJ is to ballot staff on industrial action because of anger at the running of the paper by Newsquest, which announced a round of ‘between 20 and 90’voluntary redundancies earlier this year in a bid to save between £2m and £3m

Newsquest Herald and Times regional managing director Tim Blott said more staff had come forward for the voluntary redundancy scheme on the Herald titles than on the Evening Times, forcing the company to cut impose six compulsory redundancies. A selection criteria is now being drawn up by editor Donald Martin.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran described the journalists’ working environment as ‘a shambles”.

‘There has been investment in other parts of the company but not in editorial – they’ve undermined the ability of people to produce the goods.’

Newsquest could face an attack from another front after the Office of Fair Trading looked set to reopen an investigation into the purchase of the papers in 2003 by US publishing giant Gannett. The NUJ has been pressuring the OFT to investigate claims the company has failed to maintain the quality of the titles.

Blott said: ‘Since Newsquest took over, we have invested more than £10m in the papers and we’re investing more than £3m this year. I don’t think that shows a company that isn’t investing in the long term.”

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