Journalists taking part in a one-day strike at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Glasgow organised a rally after it was announced that up to 24 staff members faced compulsory redundancy.
Despite the two titles posting a profit of between £15 and £18 million last year, the Trinity Mirror Group is forcing through “efficiency savings”, including redundancies, an unpaid increase in the working week and significant cuts in the media group’s pension scheme.
The rally on Friday of last week drew nearly 200 people at one day’s notice, and received messages of support from the FBU and PCS unions, and from striking workers at the Yorkshire Post.
Scottish NUJ president James Doherty was quite clear about the intentions of the Trinity Group Management.
He said that bosses were coming after the strongest chapels such as those at the Daily Record, Sunday Mail and the Yorkshire Post first, and that if they get away with it “they will come after all of us”.
Workers have been angered by management’s refusal to negotiate over layoffs or to accept offers of voluntary redundancy. Management are insisting that they have the right to decide who should go.
One striker said, “Even Robert Maxwell wasn’t able to get away with that!”, referring to the disgraced former newspaper tycoon.
David Coyle, a journalist at the Daily Record for ten years, spoke for many when he said that managing director Mark Hollinshead was an “advertising salesman who doesn’t understand how newspapers work”.
Cecilia King, who has worked in reference services for 38 years, was amazed at the reaction of drivers who went past the rally. Buses, cars, taxis and lorries showed their support.
She believes it is important that all workers stand up for her colleagues who are under attack.
Cecilia volunteered to take early retirement but with the changes to pension entitlement, she can’t afford to do so.