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Last Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007, 20:21 GMT 21:21 UK
Herald journalists vote to strike
The Herald titles
Journalists from all three titles took part in the ballot
Journalists at The Herald, the Sunday Herald and the Evening Times have voted by more than 70% in favour of strike action against proposed job cuts.

An option for industrial action, but not strike action such as "working to rule", received 85% support.

Newsquest, which bought the group in 2003, has made 3m of cuts, resulting in 100 job losses at the three titles.

Herald & Times Group managing director Tim Blott described the strike threat as "completely unnecessary".

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said journalists had voted overwhelmingly for a walk out.

Our newspapers will continue to be published as normal, despite this completely unnecessary action by the NUJ
Tim Blott
Herald and Times Group

However, Mr Blott said just over one in four (26%) of the 260 NUJ members employed by the company returned papers and that the vast majority did not want to go on strike.

"Our newspapers will continue to be published as normal, despite this completely unnecessary action by the NUJ," he said.

He added that the four Evening Times staff affected by compulsory redundancy - out of a total editorial staff of 300 - had been offered the chance to apply for positions on the company's other titles.

"We are a forward-thinking and successful publishing company producing top quality titles in a highly-competitive multi-media market where we must respond to the significant changes in our industry," Mr Blott said.

"Our commitment to quality journalism remains paramount and is reflected in the disproportionate number of national and international awards our titles have won and will continue to win."

'Sadly inevitable'

He added that the company was investing 3m on an expansion to its presses and a new editorial system.

The Competition Commission has rejected calls to re-examine the takeover because too much time has passed.

SNP MP Pete Wishart has been supporting a campaign by the NUJ to have the purchase of the Herald Group re-visited by the commission.

He said: "It is sadly inevitable that this dispute has come to this sorry conclusion.

"This is the first time for years that a Scottish newspaper has taken industrial action, and is an extremely serious situation."




SEE ALSO
No inquiry into Herald takeover
11 Jul 07 |  Glasgow and West
Fresh probe into Herald takeover
06 Jul 07 |  Glasgow and West
Jobs go at Herald newspaper group
01 Feb 06 |  Scotland
Sale of the Herald approved
28 Mar 03 |  Scotland

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