Trinity Mirror pay freeze follows cut of 1,200 jobs

Trinity Mirror has imposed a pay freeze across the company after closing a total of 44 publications and axed 1,200 positions in a bid to save costs.

Journalists were told in briefings today that the 2009 annual pay review is to be cancelled and that no bonuses will be paid to senior staff, including Sly Bailey, because bonus targets have not been met.

In a trading update last week, Trinity Mirror announced it would be ramping up its cost-cutting exercise after reporting a 20 per cent year-on-year drop in advertising revenues in the four months to the end of October.

It also told the City that it expected to have made £25m in cost savings by the end of this year, up from the initial target of £20m.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said today that the severe economic downturn was having an adverse impact across the media as advertisers reduce their spending, and that the pay freeze was part of Trinity’s ‘priority is to safeguard the future of the group’along with almost 1,200 job losses and the closure of 44 titles over the last year– 28 of those ‘core’ titles such as the eight newspapers closed in the Midlands in April.

The statement said: ‘We are now taking additional actions to protect the business including no bonuses to be paid relating to 2008 and a company wide pay freeze.

“However, in recognition of the hard work and commitment required we have introduced a special 2009 incentive scheme in which all employees will participate.”

Staff who take part in industrial action will not be eligible for the new incentive payouts.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said the pay freeze showed that management at the publisher did not value the journalists that had been making the company profits.

He said: “This is yet another slap in the face for our Trinity Mirror members and comes at a time when they are being put under greater pressure than ever before.”

Dear said: “Our members will be asking why shareholders’ dividends were put ahead of maintaining journalists’ standards of living.

“It’s one thing to make proposals like this which include commitments to stop redundancies, it’s quite another to impose a freeze whilst slashing jobs from the business. That’s a massive insult to Trinity Mirror journalists.”

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