Jobs fear at Informa after management meets union

IFW: one Informa Group’s B2B titles

Journalists at Lloyd’s List publisher Informa Group have been threatened with redundancy as a result of further cost-cutting on the maritime and transport titles.

Staff were warned about possible job losses and changes to staffing on magazines last week.

An NUJ spokesman said it was difficult to say how many would be affected but the number is believed to be about 10. Some of the posts are also known to be senior, including one editorship.

A source at Informa claimed there were plans to get single editorial teams working across more than one title – an idea which has caused alarm among existing staff, who feel already stretched by their current workload.

The NUJ held talks with Informa bosses last week and met again on Wednesday in a bid to find staff jobs elsewhere in the group. The acting FoC said he hoped both sides could reach an agreement. It is understood NUJ members are covered by the house agreement that pays in excess of the statutory minimum for redundancy.

“We are hoping to avoid any compulsory redundancies and are negotiating to see what can be done,” he told Press Gazette. “We are hopeful that there is some scope for redeployment within the group or that the terms agreed are satisfactory to the individuals concerned and there will be a settlement.”

Chris Wilkins, managing director of maritime and transport titles, declined to comment.

An insider said: “The announcement came as a quite a shock. I think people were surprised. Journalists are all working a lot harder than they did a few years ago and any increase in workload isn’t going to be welcome.”

In the transport and maritime sector, Informa publishes Lloyd’s List, International Freighting Weekly, the fortnightly Lloyd’s Maritime Law Newsletter and the monthly Bunker News. Other titles include International Bulk Journal and Containerisation International. A source said there was also uncertainty about the future ownership of Commercial Aviation.

It is not the first round of cuts for Informa, which introduced a pay freeze and has had to restructure parts of the business due to the advertising downturn.

Twenty magazine staff, including nine journalists, lost their jobs last year following three magazine closures and a shake-up of the entire cargo division. In 2001 the company was dogged with the loss of 150 jobs.

Energy Day was re-integrated into Lloyd’s List and the Air Trade magazine and freight title Hereford’s were both suspended. At the time, the chapel accused Informa of not being able to show any justification for the job cuts and threatened to raise journalists concerns with major shareholders. Chief executive David Gilbertson said: “I don’t think we are any different to any other B2B publisher… we are having to make a call on whether publications can quickly return to profitability.”

By Ruth Addicott

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