Journalists at Tindle Newspapers in North London are balloting for more strike action, following an announcement that freelancers are to be cut in a bid to make savings.

Almost all of the editorial team at Tindle's Enfield office went on strike for two weeks in April, in protest over the quality of the newspapers being produced in the area, which includes the Enfield Advertiser and Gazette, the Haringey Advertiser, and the Edgware and Mill Hill Press.

Three news reporters are producing nine newspapers a week and readers are "being sold short", National Union of Journalists Father of the Chapel and features editor Jonathan Lovett told

Upon their return to work this month staff were met "by a wall of silence" and the latest announcement has made the situation worse Lovett said today.

"We rely on freelancers for photographic work at weekends, sometimes journalists when there's a few people away, say over Christmas, and we also rely on freelancers for sub editors sometimes. It's going to go from bad to worse so we have no option but to ballot and I fully expect it to be a 100 per cent yes vote, and then we have to make a decision whether to go on strike again."

He added that the situation is "intolerable" and while a meeting with management is on the cards, strike action remains an option.

"We thought it was bad before but now with the announcement of our freelancers it just can't go on like this. I don't see what else we can do.

"Management seem to be very deaf to our pleas, even though we had two weeks of quite intense strike action, it seems to have had little effect on them. We really need to keep pressurising them otherwise there won't be any paper left of any note in a few weeks or months time."

Managing director of Tindle's London Weekly Newspapers Peter Edwards told that given the losses being suffered at the titles all costs had been looked at before the decision was made.

He added that the company had felt "it would be wrong" to say staff could not be replaced but to still take on freelancers, he added.

"If we are making a loss any saving is significant. What we as a company want to do is make the newspapers profitable and we haven't found the route to profitability, We'd like to work with the NUJ on that."

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