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January 17, 2014

NUJ ballots staff over Newsquest’s subbing hub plan

By Darren Boyle

Newsquest is facing possible industrial action over a controversial plan to move subbing jobs an estimated 270 miles from Yorkshire to Wales.

The National Union of Journalists has warned management of the papers based in Bradford, York and Darlington that they intend balloting members over the proposed move.

The NUJ said they have been forced to act over the threat of compulsory redundancies as a result of the planned move.

The ballot will commence tomorrow morning in Darlington while the vote in Bradford and York opens on Wednesday 22 January.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “This is yet another wrongheaded decision by Newsquest executives and yet again the chasing of profits is being put before quality local journalism, by a company that seems to have its definition of ‘local’ dictated by its American parent company. We will continue to campaign in parliament to ensure that there is proper protection for our local media and do all we can to support our members in Darlington, York and Bradford.”

Northern and midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “Our members fear that Newsquest's bizarre plan to place editorial production of its local papers in Yorkshire and the North East in another country will cost the jobs of talented and experienced journalists.

“The chapels involved also believe strongly that their loss, and the production system envisaged by the company, will inevitably damage the quality of the titles and heap yet more work on already overburdened shoulders for those who remain in the newsroom.

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“They are not prepared to let that happen without every avenue being pursued for a better alternative and one that retains the maximum number of jobs in the region. We want the company to take heed of the strength of feeling across all three centres.”


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