Newsquest is set to cut sub-editors in Wales and Gloucestershire as it introduces a single copy editing hub.
As many as eight out of the current roster of 18 sub-editors could be made redundant after the group embarked on a consultation this week. It is expected to continue into July.
The lay-offs come as Newsquest begins the introduction of a new editing system for its Wales and Gloucestershire titles. The system will see individual newspapers’ subbing teams broken up in favour of a single “copy editing unit” based at the South Wales Argus office in Newport.
The new unit is expected to go live next month, with the Barry & District News and Penarth Times the first to switch, followed by the group’s West Wales, East Wales and Gloucestershire titles.
In a memo to affected staff this week, Newsquest said the new system “will provide a more streamlined workflow for the production of pages, along with direct interfaces with our digital platforms”.
Newsquest did not respond to requests for comment.
NUJ Organiser for freelance and Wales John Toner said: "Long-serving, loyal employees are being asked to compete with each other for the privilege of uprooting their homes to work in Newport. For many this will simply be impossible.
"Getting rid of local subs has proved disastrous for other regional publishers, and I do not believe Newsquest will prove the exception. Jobs are to be lost in search of a 'streamlined workflow' that will not materialise.
"Those who lose their jobs will regret this immediately. Newsquest will come to regret it in the long run."