NUJ members at Newsquest Cheshire and Merseyside are on strike today and tomorrow after talks yesterday failed to resolve the dispute over the threat of compulsory redundancies.
The action involves the Warrington Guardian, Northwich Guardian, Sale and Altrincham Messenger, St Helens Star and The Wirral Globe.
According to the NUJ, Newsquest has carried through most of the seven job losses previously announced but there are a number of appeals against the redundancies still to be heard later this week.
The union claims if the cuts go ahead it will be impossible to produce quality papers and compete with rivals. The chapel is calling on the company to enter into dialogue with the union on how to deal with the new workloads if the redundancies are carried through in full. The NUJ says it wants to prevent breaches in the Working Time Directive and reduce health and safety risks.
Chris Morley, NUJ northern and midlands organiser, said: "Chapel negotiators held last gasp talks with management yesterday to try to prevent this action but it was clear the company had no real intention of trying to understand, never mind meet, the chapel's desperate concerns.
"Our members have been resolute in not only seeking to defend colleagues but also the quality newspapers and websites they produce and they are prepared to make this sacrifice to underline to the company that its ruinous cost-cutting cannot continue."