AOL cutbacks include editorial outsourcing to India

AOL UK is planning to outsource some editorial operations to India as part of cutbacks that could halve the number of editorial staff at the web portal’s London newsroom, according to insiders.

The NUJ, which represents AOL’s editorial staff, is participating in consultations ahead of the restructuring.

‘The chapel at AOL has voted 100 per cent in favour of balloting for industrial action over this. We want no compulsory job losses at all,’said NUJ new media organiser Lawrence Shaw.

Last week, a union source suggested that the cuts at AOL UK would be just 13 posts across the company. But some in the chapel say this figure was a ‘best-case scenario’presented to employees by the company. Under the worst-case scenario presented to staff, AOL UK would lose 86 jobs.

At present, AOL UK permanently employs 39 journalists, production staff and editorial managers – but chapel sources told Press Gazette that number could be slashed to just 17 London-based editorial editorial jobs.

The seven-strong picture and design team could be particularly hard hit. The roles likely to be relocated to Bangalore are understood to include picture desk and online editorial support roles such as basic HTML mark-up.

The chapel is considering a compensation offer made by the company earlier this week.

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