A ballot over job cuts at the Glasgow-based Herald & Times Group has been announced by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) following the news last week that up to 20 positions are to be axed.
The Group - which produces the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times - confirmed on Tuesday that the marketing manager and circulation manager roles were up for redundancy, while the majority of positions being cut are understood to be from the production and photographic production departments. The day before the redundancy announcement was made, the Herald's edition went to print with one page unfinished, raising fears about the paper's capacity to cope with cuts.
Scottish NUJ organiser Paul Holleran said the NUJ was lobbying for more numbers in production to ease the pressure on staff at the titles when the surprise news came that jobs would instead go.
"The NUJ approached Newsquest management around three weeks ago seeking more staff for a beleaguered workforce, particularly production where a number of members have been or are off with stress," Holleran said.
"We are now facing up to 20 redundancies and although we were prepared to try and work with management as we did successfully at The Scotsman there appears to be little or no willingness on the Newsquest side to compromise.
"Members are really angry and are calling for industrial action across the whole of Newsquest, the least management can do is slow down the process and enter into meaningful talks with the union."
The Herald & Times Group - part of the Newsquest stable - said the redundancies were a result of "difficult trading".