Hard pressed staff at Johnston Press titles in Edinburgh are considering industrial action as the company have announced up to ten redundancies – the second round of job cuts this year. Members at The Scotsman chapel meeting on Thursday, expressed anger at the proposed threat to production jobs with one person describing the subs as “drowning in their intolerable workloads”. It was suggested that the union call in the Health and Safety Executive to look into incidents of excessive hours and two members suffering heart attacks in recent weeks. It also appears that some members are at risk of compulsory redundancy after being told they could not re-deploy to to other jobs, which triggered the demand for a ballot.
Other issues which added fuel to the fire includes management refusing to allow PILON (paymernt in lieu of notice) for anyone volunteering to go and the failure of the company to implement the agreed 2% pay increase this month. The chapel has called on the union to start proceedings for industrial action which could be embarrassing for CEO Ashley Highfield who is expected to attend the re-launch of The Scotsman next Tuesday at their Orchard Brae premises.
National organiser Paul Holleran said: “I wasn’t at the meeting because of redundancy negotiations elsewhere, but I understand there was a lot of angry people concerned at the current workloads, wondering how they would cope with even less staff. However this is the start of the consultation process and I would be hopeful that we can avoid compulsory redundancies and negotiate an agreement covering staffing levels and workloads.”
This is the latest in a spate of redundancies facing journalists across the country with Media Scotland and Newsquest currently in talks with the union.