Socialist Worker

Journalists at the Independent to ballot over redundancies

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2138

Newspapers and magazines across the country are looking to cut jobs and wages – but journalists are fighting back.

The Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers have been particularly badly hit. Managers at the two national titles are trying to force through 35 compulsory redundancies.

An NUJ union meeting was held in at the Independent’s London offices on Wednesday of last week. Over 90 percent of around 130 journalists present voted to back a call for a ballot for industrial action.

Last November the company proposed that 90 jobs should go – around 60 of them in editorial posts. Some 50 journalists have applied for voluntary redundancy, but the company has accepted only 34 of those applications.

Meanwhile more than 200 journalists at magazine publisher RBI are beginning a two-week ballot for industrial action against job cuts.

It follows union meetings at all three of the company’s main offices in London, all of which voted overwhelmingly for the ballot.

NUJ members are angry over plans to merge production staff across separate titles. They believe the company wants to create a pool of production staff, which would result in a significant loss of jobs and major deskilling.

Local newspapers are bearing the brunt of the cuts across the country.

In Leeds around 130 journalists at Yorkshire Post Newspapers have started balloting for strike action after managers said they wanted to make three compulsory redundancies – and called for 15 volunteers.

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Tue 10 Feb 2009, 18:24 GMT
Issue No. 2138
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