Strike threat over Reuters redundancies

NUJ members at Thompson and Reuters say they are ready to take industrial action over the way managers go about the job cuts if all voluntary routes available are not explored.

Submitted by Rob Ray on May 21, 2008

140 journalists, mostly from UK offices, will be among 835 people made redundant following the merger of Thompsons and the news agency Reuters. Around 700 jobs are also set to go in technical support and sales by the end of the year.

A leaked memo to staff from Reuters News Editor in Chief David Schlesinger said: "Unfortunately, the overlap we've found and our need to run the operation efficiently means that we will have to eliminate around 140 jobs worldwide by the end of the year." The cost-cutting exercise aims to save $750 million over three years.

NUJ officials say managers have refused to commit themselves to using voluntary redundancies, pushing staff to vote for a strike ballot. NUJ national organiser Barry Fitzpatrick said: "We've been telling management for months that they should be meeting with the union so that employees have a say in their treatment by Thomson Reuters. Our members are naturally worried. That's why they've made it very clear that they will campaign strongly against any attempts to force through compulsory redundancies."