Tuesday 20 October 2009

NUJ 'shocked' by scale of Brum cuts: accuses Trinity Mirror of 'corporate self-harm'

Journalists at Trinity Mirror Midlands are shocked by the 40 editorial job losses announced today, the NUJ said this afternoon, with one union official accusing the company's cuts of being "the corporate equivalent of self-harm". The union said: "NUJ members had been expecting the Birmingham Post to go weekly and the Birmingham Mail to go overnight ( see posting below) since the plans were leaked to the union in June.
"But the announcement of 40 editorial jobs losses – on top of 17 in July and 70 in 2008 – was worse than anticipated. NUJ members from the Post, Mail, Mercury and Midlands Weekly Media titles will meet tomorrow afternoon to consider their response."
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern regional organiser and a former Post and Mail journalist, said: “There is overwhelming disbelief and anger among our members in the Midlands at this announcement. It is the latest – and worst – betrayal in a long line by Trinity Mirror of its Midlands operations and is nothing less than the corporate equivalent of self-harm.
“Months of so-called consultation showed the folly of the original plans and dangers they posed for the longer-term future of the papers and digital operations. Our chapels entered those consultations positively and in good faith but have had that thrown back in their faces by a dishonourable company.
“The company was hell-bent on an outcome aimed at saving vast, unrealistic and unsustainable sums of money from the start, irrespective of the damage this could bring to the newspapers, websites and the staff that work on them.
"It appears the consultation was a sham and used as a smokescreen to mask management planning for the assault on jobs and even the pay of journalists."
“Our members are utterly demoralised with Trinity Mirror but in no mood to take this lying down. We will support them in every way at this critical time.”
Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said: “This is an assault on journalism and civil society in the West Midlands. “It shows yet again that the right of citizens to know what is happening in a democracy is too important to be left in the hands of corporations whose only motivation is profit.
“The NUJ will support our members in Birmingham in whatever action they decide to take to stand up for journalists and journalism.”

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