The NUJ is predicting that the latest round of redundancies will be announced at Newsquest's Bradford centre today. NUJ members in Bradford have voted to ballot for industrial action if redundancies are compulsory. The union claims the expected job cuts would leave the company’s editorial workforce at 60 per cent of its strength, compared to eight years ago. It also says that management last week broke off pay talks, withdrew an offer of three per cent and imposed a pay freeze.
According to the NUJ, managers have said proposals for job cuts will be revealed to journalists on the Telegraph & Argus, Keighley News, Craven Herald, Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale Observer. NUJ Bradford FoC Bob Smith said: "First, managers told staff they would get no extra pay...then, they dropped the jobs bombshell, saying the editorial department would be cut by ten per cent."
The NUJ claims there was a "David Brent moment" when group editor Perry Austin-Clarke revealed he had been offered a pay rise for taking on extra responsibility following the departure from the company of the Newsquest Bradford managing director Charlie Birrell.