Herald group makes journalists redundant
THE Herald and Times newspaper group has made all its journalists and publishing staff redundant and asked them to re-apply for their jobs.
The Glasgow-based company, which publishes the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times, told up to 250 staff of the move yesterday.
It is expected that between 30 and 40 staff, 17 per cent of journalists, will be cut as the company merges all editorial departments on its three titles.
Last night, Paul Holleran, the Scottish organiser of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), described the move as a "brutal attempt at forcing changes".
Outlining the moves in a statement issued yesterday, the group said it was merging certain newspaper staffs under the new editor-in-chief, Donald Martin, to increase efficiency and make full use of state-of-the-art news production technology.
Tim Blott, the group's managing director, criticised the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), claiming that it had, in part, forced the move.
"We are committed to producing vibrant and relevant newspapers and websites, and see a bright future for the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times and their digital versions," Mr Blott said.
"Regrettable industrial action this week by members of the NUJ at the titles makes the need for radical change even more urgent as we work to secure the future of the business and as many jobs as possible," he said.
However, the NUJ said that it had suspended action planned for this week prior to a meeting with the group heads.
Mr Holleran said of the announcement: "This is a brutal attempt at forcing changes which can only cause major problems in these titles.
"There are changes taking place across the media industry, with redundancies and new technology being introduced.
"Every other media employer in Scotland is working with the union to try to handle these changes in a civilised manner."
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