'More than 20 Newsquest journalists facing redundancy' - NUJ

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newsquestThe National Union of Journalists claims more than 20 jobs in the north are at risk after newspaper publisher Newsquest announced plans to move production to Wales.

The NUJ says at least 20 journalists’ jobs at York, Bradford and Darlington are at risk as the comany prepares to install a new subbing system.

The publisher produces titles including The York Press, Northern Echo, Wirral Globe, Warrington Guardian and Westmorland Gazette.

Sub-editors’ posts are set to be lost in all three centres at Newsquest North-east, with five at risk in York, 11 at Bradford and seven at Darlington.

The production of all three centres’ newspapers will be switched to a central subbing hub at Newport from February.

Writing at the union’s website Mark Stead and Tony Kelly,  York’s NUJ jointFathers of the Chapel, said they were ‘totally outraged’ at the development and opposed to any more redundancies.

“For the past six years our members have borne the brunt of a hack and slash policy of sackings, frequent bouts of non-replacement of staff, and crippling pay freezes, which, combined with the high rise in the cost of living, effectively means almost annual pay cuts.

“It seems ridiculous that three local newspapers in York, Bradford and Darlington are again being systematically dismantled, downgraded and ultimately destroyed to make yet more profit for a parent company,  which has shown little regard for, or faith in, hundreds of hard-working and ever more flexible staff.”

The American-owned company is typically reticent to comment in public about changes within the organisation.

Earlier this year the longest-serving of the chief executives of the big four regional publishing groups, Paul Davidson stepped down from the group.