The NUJ says journalists at three Newsquest centres were today told the company plans to centralise sub-editing operations in the North of England with a loss of 14 jobs.
The union says members reacted angrily at Darlington and York, after they were told production jobs there would disappear and work would be transferred to Bradford where four new positions would be created.
Under the plans, according to the NUJ, editorial production of the free weekly titles in Darlington and York, as well as the paid for weeklies and magazines at Darlington and York, would go to Bradford over the next six months. Sub-editing of the dailies would remain at the existing locations.
The move comes, the union says, just weeks after management at Darlington finally completed a painful reorganisation of editorial production that combined weekly and daily subbing operations, costing a number of jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme. This time round the company wants to complete consultation over the planned redundancies in 30 days or less, despite some parts of the reorganisation not taking place until September.
NUJ northern and midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “Our members in Newsquest are punch-drunk from the continuous stream of highly damaging cuts that issue forth from this discredited management in Newsquest.
“We have seen all over the country where editorial production is centralised, impossible demands are made on journalists who choose to stay and within a year or two they are broken up and return to the local centres with massive damage done to staff morale and reader confidence.
“This move by Newsquest is a one way ticket to oblivion. We will defend our members with all powers at our disposal.”