NUJ reveals more than 80% of Guardian and Observer journalists have voted in favour of possible strike action
Guardian and Observer journalists have voted overwhelmingly in favour of possible strike action over compulsory redundancies, according to the NUJ, with more than 80 per cent voting for strike action over the redundancies and to defend existing terms and conditions at the two titles.
As part of a plan to make £7 million of savings from the annual budget, Guardian News & Media said it would be looking to cut 100 editorial posts. The NUJ, in negotiation with the management, has so far halved that target through agreed voluntary redundancies. The union has also asked for those identified as under threat to be put on a redeployment register.
NUJ deputy general secretary, Barry Fitzpatrick, said: “We are still in talks at Acas, the arbitration service, and hope for a negotiated settlement. The editor Alan Rusbridger and the Guardian management must now reflect on the strength of the vote and what is says in terms of their staff’s confidence in them. The union has suggested a whole range of cost-cutting measures – including cuts to executive pay, job sharing and more part-time working. The management has taken a serious risk of jeopardising the culture within the Guardian by trying to force through compulsory redundancies.”
Brian Williams, Guardian FoC, added that the “result speaks for itself” and that the strong message from the chapel will now be used as “the basis for establishing the future stability of the company, taking into account the concerns of the papers’ journalists”.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, commented: “This overwhelming vote for action is not just about saving jobs, it is about journalists who are proud of the quality of news gathering and writing in their papers and do not want to put it at peril.”
A Guardian News & Media spokesperson said: "We are still at ACAS and talks continue. We remain hopeful that this will be resolved through negotiation."
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