National Union of Journalists members across a series of Newsquest-owned north-east titles have started to ballot for industrial action against proposed redundancies and a continuing pay freeze, according to a report from the union.
Members at Newsquest Northeast, which includes The Darlington and Stockton Times, Durham Times and the Advertiser series, have also unanimously passed a motion of no confidence in the chief executives of Newsquest and Newsquest’s US parent company Gannett.
In the NUJ release, the union’s Northern and Midlands organiser, Chris Morley said the proposed loss of eight jobs in the region is the “final straw” for staff:
The proposed redundancies spell disaster for the titles. It is a short-sighted policy that will result in lower quality and readership declining, as editorial staff are stretched ever more thinly.
Staff are shocked at Newsquest’s preparedness to jettison so many of their most valuable assets – experienced, dedicated staff who have been responsible for the success of the titles. We are not prepared to stand by and allow Newsquest to press ahead with their plans for staff redundancies and, ultimately, business suicide.
Tomorrow NUJ members at the Brighton Argus, also part of the Newquest group, will start a two-day strike in response to job losses at the title and the relocation of its subbing operation to Southampton.