Indy journos threaten strike action

by - 11th November 2011, 15.02 GMT

Journalists at the Independent will serve notice of an industrial action ballot unless the management withdraws its threat of compulsory redundancies.

Independent Print Ltd, the management of the Independent titles and London Evening Standard, has declared its intention to make job cuts of up to 20 posts. This will involve the merging of the business and sport editorial departments across all titles. It has also proposed restructuring the travel section on The Independent and The Independent on Sunday and the editorial production department.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said:  “The Independent’s editor Chris Blackhurst said there would be ‘genuine consultation’ – he should keep his word and get back around the negotiating table. The editorial staff is already cut to the bone, after several rounds of redundancies. The NUJ will defend its members’ jobs and we will support the chapel in a strike ballot for industrial action, unless the management withdraws its threat of compulsory redundancies.”

The NUJ’s head of publishing, Barry Fitzpatrick, called on the company to remove the threat of compulsory redundancies and conduct the consultation in a genuine effort to reach agreement that protects jobs and the editorial quality and independence of the papers.