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Redundancies at newspaper titles

3 December 08 16:06 GMT

A Glasgow-based newspaper group has made all its journalists and publishing staff redundant and invited them to re-apply for their jobs.

The Herald and Times Group, which publishes The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times, informed up to 250 staff of its decision on Wednesday.

Roughly 210 are likely to be rehired if they agree to new terms and conditions.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) described the move as a "brutal attempt at forcing changes".

In a statement, the Herald and Times Group said it would merge certain newspaper staffs under new editor-in-chief Donald Martin to increase efficiency and make full use of state-of-the art news production technology.

Managing director Tim Blott said: "We are creating an efficient operation fit for the 21st Century which will provide even more compelling and unique content for readers of all three titles and our websites.

"We are committed to producing vibrant and relevant newspapers and websites and see a bright future for The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times and their digital versions."

The NUJ's Scottish organiser, Paul Holleran, said: "This is a brutal attempt at forcing changes which can only cause major problems in these titles.

"There are changes taking place across the media industry, with redundancies and new technology being introduced.

"Every other media employer in Scotland is working with the union to try to handle these changes in a civilised manner.

"No-one in the workforce will be surprised that this is the first action of the new editor-in-chief, Donald Martin. To say he's getting off on the wrong foot is the understatement of the year."

Mr Holleran added that no industrial action had taken place at any of the titles this week but that the union had been due to meet with management on Wednesday.

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