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Editorial job losses at Express Newspapers reduced from 70 following union talks

September 24th, 2009Posted by in Job losses, Jobs, Newspapers

As reported on Journalism.co.uk in August, Northern & Shell, owners of Express Newspapers and OK! magazine, announced plans to make 70 journalists at its newspaper titles – Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Sunday Star – redundant.

Now the company has reduced the overall number of cuts at the newspapers from 90 to 75. This means the number of journalism jobs cut would be reduced from 70 to between 52 and 57 – a figure reported by the Guardian and confirmed to Journalism.co.uk by the National Union of Journalists.

“The reduction in job cuts was only announced after the NUJ had warned the company that they were not following the right procedure,” said Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ deputy general secretary.

Stanistreet, a former Express Newspapers union representative, attended talks with the company this week.

“While we welcome the reduced numbers we still don’t know how the papers can be produced with the few people who will be left. We want to see some proper plans and we want guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies.”

Last year 80 Daily and Sunday Express redundancies were proposed by Northern & Shell, to cut the number of staff sub-editors, long-term regular casual sub-editors and other casual journalism staff.

Last year’s cutbacks included the introduction of a new working week pattern for sub-editing staff at the paper and a production system, which would allow some staff to write directly onto page templates without the need for sub-editors.

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  • Anon

    “The reduction in job cuts was only announced after the NUJ had warned the company that they were not following the right procedure,” said Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ deputy general secretary.

    Why has the NUJ done this? Wouldn’t it have been better to let the company blunder on, make procedural errors, and thus give infinitely more leverage in any settlements to the workers affected.

    “While we welcome the reduced numbers we still don’t know how the papers can be produced with the few people who will be left. We want to see some proper plans and we want guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies.”

    Uh, oh. Why has the NUJ spokesperson said something that essentially will make the company think they now have the NUJ’s blessing – and made public too – to cut numbers? Is that really the case? Maybe time to rethink the union’s role. Now the company has the NUJ’s ‘blessing’, any redundancies may magically become compulsory.

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