NUJ hits back at Trinity Mirror cuts

The National Union of Journalists has reacted angrily after reports emerged today that a third round of job cuts in little over a year was about to hit Trinity Mirror Midlands.

Trinity Mirror confirmed earlier this afternoon that it planned to cut around 82 jobs as it overhauled production of its Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail newspapers.

The publisher intends to cease daily print publication of the Post and shift evening paper, Birmingham Mail, to overnight production.

Around half the planned 82 cuts will come from the pooled editorial departments of Trinity’s Birmingham-based titles.

Production departments are expected to take the heaviest hit as the publisher introduces a new production system that will see reporters write directly into page templates.

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern Regional Organiser, called the changes “corporate self-harming”.

He said: “There is overwhelming disbelief and anger among our members in the Midlands at this announcement.

“It is the latest – and worst – betrayal in a long line by Trinity Mirror of its Midlands operations and is nothing less than the corporate equivalent of self-harm.”

Trinity Mirror warned of job cuts as it launched a consultation on changes to its Midlands operation in August aimed at tacking the £6m it expected to make in the division next year.

John Griffith, managing director of BPM Media, said today: “In reaching the decisions… we have taken great care to consider all the options and we have sought the views of our staff, advertisers and key contacts.

“We believe the changes we plan to introduce offer the best way forward for the business, to help us tackle the immediate issue of the forecast deficit and to set us up more effectively for the longer term.”

Today’s announcement followed the loss of 17 editorial jobs earlier this year as the publisher closed nine Midlands weekly newspapers and a further 70 editorial job losses last August when the editorial operations of the Post and Mail were integrated.

Morley said: “The company was hell-bent on an outcome aimed at saving vast, unrealistic and unsustainable sums of money from the start, irrespective of the damage this could bring to the newspapers, websites and the staff that work on them.”

The Union accused Trinity Mirror of using its consultation as a way to make further job cuts and said its members would meet tomorrow afternoon to consider their response.

Morley added: “Our members are utterly demoralised with Trinity Mirror but in no mood to take this lying down. We will support them in every way at this critical time.”

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