BAJ: Subbing factory can't replace Mirror in-house skills

Union reps have clashed with Trinity Mirror over plans to out-source some sub-editing on the national titles to Press Assocation.

The out-sourcing move is being considered as part of plans to cut 200 jobs from the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People titles.

British Association of Journalists reps have explained to management that Mirror journalists have climbed the career ladder from weekly newspaper to evening newspaper to Fleet Street casualling before finally making it on to Mirror Group Newspapers staff.

Press Gazette understands that the BAJ has told Mirror management that MGN subs have ‘honed their skills to perfection over many years”, adding: ‘The idea that some inexperienced, young journalists on low wages in some subbing factory in the middle of Yorkshire can match the experience and ability of MGN’s subs and artists was nonsense.”

This is a reference to the fact that the majority of PA’s sub-editors are based at its Howden centre where, in recent years, the National Union of Journalists has complained that production staff earn less than £15,000 a year.

Press Gazette understands that MGN group managing editor Eugene Duffy has defended the PA outsourcing move to the BAJ, and told the union that the editors agree with him: ‘They believe PA can offer quality at a lower price.’

According to the BAJ: The Sun, News of the World, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday all employ at least twice as many journalists as the MGN titles.

Under current proposals the number of staff sub-editors on the main section of the Daily Mirror is due to be cut from 26 to seven.

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