The number of redundancies being sought by Mirror Group Newspapers as it streamlines production across its three London nationals is expected to be reduced below the amount originally feared when it announced proposals to cut 200 editorial staff earlier in the year.
Initially staff thought a high number of compulsory redundancies could result as parent company Trinity Mirror planned to cut 140 staff journalists – along with 60 casuals – from its workforce.
Press Gazette understands that the number of actual redundancies on the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People is likely be less than 100 staff journalists – however the exact figure isn’t expected to be revealed until after conclusion of the consultation between staff and management next week.
According to a memo sent to members of the British Association of Journalists, the recognised union at MGN, the number of compulsory redundancies could now fall to around 25.
The union says a combination of MGN reducing the overall number of redundancies, a shift of a number of staff from full-time to part-time employment and the take-up of voluntary redundancies has reduced the need to put people out of work against their wishes.
It is understood that 69 journalists have applied to take voluntary redundancy with the vast majority of those likely to be accepted.
A Trinity Mirror spokesman said the company could not comment about redundancy numbers as it was still involved in a consultation with staff on the matter.
Members of the BAJ will hold a meeting on the editorial floor at MGN’s Canary Wharf headquarters today to discuss strike action planned for this weekend across the three papers.
Last weekend’s planned two-hour walkout by staff working on the three titles was cancelled, as were the walkouts planned for the previous weekend.
Trinity Mirror Nationals managing director Mark Hollinshead is understood to have rejected the BAJ’s request that those employees being made redundant on three months’ notice be given an additional two months’ pay.
The current terms for employees being made redundant are salary for each person’s notice period plus two weeks pay for every year of service.
The union also asked MGN to reduce the barrier preventing staff from returning to any form of work at MGN from six to three months.
Hollinshead is understood to have agreed to reduce the barrier to five months.