The Daily Record and Sunday Mail Scottish newspapers are the latest battleground in the fight against bosses’ attempts to make cutbacks.
NUJ union members at the newspapers have voted overwhelmingly to strike against owner Trinity Mirror’s plan to cut 70 jobs, after merging production at the two titles.
The workers will strike this Saturday 4 April and Friday of next week after voting by 85 percent for action, on an 84 percent turnout. There is also to be a continuous work-to-rule.
Journalists in other parts of the country are stepping up their fight too. Over 70 NUJ members and supporters packed into a room in Manchester Town Hall for a Stand Up for Journalism meeting on Friday of last week to discuss job cuts.
The Guardian Media Group has announced it is making 78 journalists redundant and closing all its weekly newspaper offices across Greater Manchester.
Some 39 jobs will go at the Manchester Evening News (MEN) and another 39 at the weeklies. Further cuts in advertising, distribution and IT will bring the total job losses to 150.
NUJ members at the Manchester Evening News and Greater Manchester Weekly Newspapers have started a ballot for industrial action over the plans.
There is wide support for their fight with councillors from across the region attending the meeting.
Speakers made the point that as well as fighting against job cuts, the campaign is about preserving quality journalism and the service it provides.
Local newspapers often have investigative journalists who can hold local businesses and politicians to account.
Speakers pointed out that MEN Media is still making substantial profits and therefore does not need to make cuts.
Pete Murray, the NUJ’s vice-president, said, ‘There’s a widespread agreement that defending jobs in print, in broadcasting, or in new media is part of a fight to retain strong public services.
‘These are under attack from executives who are more concerned about their balance sheets, shareholders or government targets than they are about our role as journalists to scrutinise and question those who hold public office.’
Workers at the Yorkshire Evening Post are continuing their struggle against job cuts. Union members were to tour workplaces in London this week to raise solidarity with their campaign.
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