Labour MPs back the campaign to save jobs at Trinity Mirror

By David Rose and Sarah Lagan Trinity Mirror is facing a political
backlash over the spending review that may lead to cuts in journalists’
jobs at its newspapers around the country.

Labour MPs have
launched a campaign to persuade Trinity Mirror to abandon any moves to
cut jobs, and instead to provide “adequate resources”

to maintain “a high standard of editorial coverage.”

The
campaign is spearheaded by Labour MPs John McDonnell (Hayes and
Harlington) and Austin Mitchell (Grimsby), leading members of the NUJ
Parliamentary Group.

They have tabled a Commons early day motion
expressing concern over possible editorial cuts and contrasted it with
the £250 million profit the company made last year.

“Cutting jobs in news fails to address circulation decline,” the MPs said.

“Such moves will lead to poorer coverage of local politics and community issues, damaging local democracy and accountability.”

Among
other MPs backing the motion are Mike Hancock, Lib-Dem (Portsmouth
South); Pete Wishart, SNP (Perth); Hywel Williams, Plaid Cymru
(Caernarfon); and Lynne Jones, Labour (Birmingham Selly Oak).

The
NUJ has been given the go-ahead by its national executive, which met at
the weekend, to ballot for industrial action at NUJ chapels across
Trinity Mirror if working hours increase or compulsory redundancies
take place.

NUJ officials across the country will now meet with
Trinity’s regional human resources staff to try to get a sense of the
time scale of the various reviews being carrying out and discuss how
redundancies can best be avoided.

Union reps will then be called to a meeting to make a formal decision on whether to ballot on industrial action.

The
union claims it has had no response from Sly Bailey since sending a
series of votes of no confidence in her strategy, passed by chapels
across the group, to her last week (Press Gazette: 4 November).

NUJ
general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “Apart from in the pages of Press
Gazette we have not heard anything so far from Sly Bailey.

“The
vote of no confidence was also sent to shareholders and directors. We
also wrote to the HR department at a national level asking for a
meeting, but have heard nothing from them either.”

A Trinity
Mirror spokesman said: “The media industry is facing a slowdown in
advertising markets and we are considering a number of options to
address this within Trinity Mirror.

“That review is ongoing, and while external parties can speculate about its outcome, no decisions have been made.

Further details will be given to staff once the review has been concluded.

“Our
aim is to protect our businesses and newspapers, and this of course
means maintaining editorial quality as well as controlling costs.”

■ Trinity Mirror has suspended publication of its staff magazine Insight in light of its current review of costs.

Staff
have been told by Trinity’s director of corporate communications Nick
Fullagar that the next edition will be published on the group intranet.

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