Birmingham Post and Mail strike called off after Trinity Mirror rules out compulsory job cuts

Strike action has been called off at the Birmingham Post and Mail after owner Trinity Mirror assured the National Union of Journalists there would be no compulsory redundancies.

A 48-hour walk-out was scheduled to take place in Birmingham on 7 and 8 October over plans to cut about 65 editorial jobs across Trinity’s Midlands titles.

NUJ members at the Coventry Telegraph and Midland Weekly Media will decide tomorrow on whether to continue with their proposed strike action on the same day.

The paper’s management had not ruled out compulsory redundancies in Birmingham until today but had said it was ‘confident’that the headcount could be reduced by voluntary redundancies.

The union said in a statement it ‘still has concerns about the way in which the proposed changes will impact on journalists’ workloads and will continue to hold detailed negotiations with the company to discuss how it intends to implement its plans”.

NUJ northern organiser, Chris Morley, said: ‘While it is to be welcomed that the company has now backed down from the threat of issuing compulsory redundancy notices, we can take no comfort from the fact that a quarter of Trinity Mirror’s journalists in the Midlands do not have sufficient confidence in the projected future to want to stay.

‘The people volunteering are not only those at the latter end of their careers but also many in their 20s and 30s. Where the new digital multi-media world should be exciting those starting off in their careers, instead many are being put off by the prospect of gross overloading of tasks. They’re concerned that by serving so many platforms simultaneously, the essence of their journalism will be lost.

‘This rush for the exit only confirms the NUJ chapels’ determination to win a comprehensive agreement on new multi-media working, together with proper reward for new skills, that will bring back confidence of remaining staff in the future direction of the company.”

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