Financial Times union votes to go on strike

LONDON • Journalists at Britain's Financial Times have voted to take strike action over changes to the group's pensions after the sale of the newspaper to Japan's Nikkei, the National Union of Journalists said.

The union said two-thirds of its members at the business newspaper had voted, with 92 per cent of them backing action over the planned changes to pensions put forward by the newspaper's management.

Union members say the new owners plan to use some £4 million (S$8.6 million) of savings from pension changes to help pay rent on the newspaper's offices at Southwark Bridge in London that are still owned by the paper's former proprietor, Pearson.

A spokesman for the newspaper said the company was disappointed the union had not agreed to withdraw the threat of industrial action when consultations towards a negotiated agreement were under way.

"While we do not take lightly any discontent among our employees, we must find the right balance between individual benefits - those who voted in the ballot represent a small minority of staff - and the sustainable financial future of the FT, for the benefit of all," she said.

Mr Lionel Barber, the newspaper's editor, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Pearson agreed to sell the salmon pink title to Nikkei in July for US$1.3 billion (S$1.8 billion).

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2015, with the headline 'Financial Times union votes to go on strike'. Print Edition | Subscribe