Join rival and we won't have you back, Trinity warns staff

By Sarah Lagan

Journalists on
the Western Mail and Echo have been told by management that if they
ever work on the rival title the Welsh Globe, due to launch next March,
they will be banned from working for the Cardiff-based group again.

They were also told their mission is to ensure that the Globe “ceases publication in the shortest possible time”.

The Welsh Globe, as it is provisionally named, is due to launch on 1 March – St David’s Day.

The
news from Trinity Mirror management comes at a time when the company
has put a freeze on replacement of non-essential staff throughout all
its titles as well as stopping discretionary spending.

The issue
was first raised when Western Mail and Echo managing director Keith Dye
told managers about it. Journalists were then informed at a company
forum set up for employees and management to negotiate with both the
NUJ and Amicus.

Minutes from the company forum read: “Competitor
Threat. We have information about the potential launch of a new
national daily newspaper for Wales competing with the Western Mail. It
was raised that any member of the company who went to work for this
competitor would not be re-employed.

“The launch of this
newspaper would damage the company and our objective would be to ensure
that it ceases publication in the shortest possible time. At the MD’s
quarterly briefing to managers, it was made clear that any staff going
to work for this paper will not be re-employed at any point in the
future.”

NUJ FoC at the Mail Martin Shipton said: “We are not
happy about this from the NUJ’s perspective. We are angry that people’s
job prospects could be limited by this kind of edict, so we havemade
our views known. The company says it is trying to do whatever it can to
strangle the Welsh Globe at birth and this is one of the tools in its
armoury it is willing to use.”

NUJ Wales organiser Jenny Lennox
called the move “stupid, petty and unfair” and said it probably stemmed
from the company having lost Mail employees to the Globe.

MD
Keith Dye said: “If this launch does happen, we will naturally defend
our position robustly, just as any business would against a direct
competitor in their patch.”

Trinity Mirror’s Western Mail was the
top growth performing regional daily in the last ABCs, with a 3.2 per
cent rise in circulation, proving its change to a tabloid format has
been popular. Sales were also boosted by the success of the Welsh rugby
team in the Six Nations tournament.

Other titles in the group include the South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and weekly titles under the Celtic Newspapers banner.


Following Trinity Mirror’s announcement of cuts throughout the group
including the cancellation of all Christmas parties, the company forum
is expected to propose a vote of no confidence in chief executive Sly
Bailey at the end of the week.

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