National Union of Journalists (NUJ) representatives are gearing up for ‘coordinated action’ in response to cutbacks announced by Johnston Press.
Reps will tonight discuss plans for a campaign, the NUJ has said, following news of cuts at the Sheffield Star, Scotsman Publications, the Glasgow East News and the Ayrshire Extra.
Restructuring has put up to 30 jobs at risk at the Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and Edinburgh Evening News, though no specific figure for the number of editorial job losses has been given.
A further 15 positions are to go as Johnston Press ceases publication of the Glasgow East News and Ayrshire Extra.
The union has also received complaints about working conditions at the Blackpool Gazette, which it has sent in a memo to the company.
The memo included claims that four news sub-editors have been working 55-hour weeks, while a junior reporter worked 110 hours in 11 days.
The publisher has disputed the figures stated in the memo, the NUJ said.
“Our members in Johnston Press want to produce high quality local papers, but they are finding they have to work incredibly long hours – sometimes dangerously long hours – in order to do so.
“Many of our members are already facing high levels of stress and these latest cuts will simply make an intolerable situation even worse. No wonder our members are calling for a concerted campaign against the company’s failure to invest in quality journalism,” said Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, in a press statement.