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Wednesday, 28 August 2013 00:00

Scots journalists strike over layoffs

by Rory MacKinnon

Riled journalists on Glasgow's biggest newspapers today voted for fresh strike action in a bid to prevent looming layoffs.

Staff on the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times returned a 97 per cent vote for industrial action.

The vote showed tensions had only continued to simmer after an injunction from boss Newsquest scuppered a previous ballot.

In July 96 per cent had voted for industrial action short of a strike, while 86 per cent had backed a full walkout.

In today's result the would-be strikers were down to 76 per cent.

But the National Union of Journalists Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said the ballot continued to show strong anger over "job cuts on the cheap."

Newsquest has said it expects around 20 jobs to go, eight of which would be compulsory redundancies.

The union has decried the redundancy payouts as "nearly on statutory terms."

Yet Newsquest's parent company Gannet rewarded shareholders with around £850m in shareholder dividends in 2012 - a fourth year of pay freezes for Newsquest staff.

Mr Holleran said today the union would "not stand back and let members be treated like this."

"We offered to negotiate the changes as we have done in other newspaper companies but for some reason Newsquest preferred conflict to a constructive partnership approach," he said.

The union branch would consider its course of action in the next few days, he added.

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