Newsquest journalists in the North of England have voted to take strike action against plans to centralise production operations, which they claim will lead to the loss of 14 jobs.
According to the NUJ, Newsquest wants to transfer editorial production of its free weekly titles in Darlington and York – together with paid-for weeklies and magazines – to Bradford over the next six months. Sub-editing of the dailies would remain at the existing locations.
In a statement released today NUJ northern and Midlands organiser Chris Morley said the union was also looking at whether the move breached employment laws, which he claimed ‘could have serious financial consequences for Newsquest”.
He continued: ‘The decision to vote on strike action was inevitable following the latest attack on jobs and security by this discredited management. The NUJ is ready to defend our members and quality journalism with fierce determination.
‘Journalists at Newsquest have endured a series of damaging job cuts and illogical centralisation of editorial production through schemes which are destroying the quality of their newspapers and reader confidence. The effect on the morale of dedicated professional journalists has been shocking.”
The NUJ claims to have sought region-wide consultation on the proposals from Newsquest’s regional managing director but said the requests were turned down.
Press Gazette contacted Newsquest chief executive Paul Davidson but he was unavailable for comment.