Midlands News journalists rule out action over job cuts

Industrial action at Midlands News Association, where 70 staff face compulsory redundancy, is unlikely as it would simply ‘reduce revenue further’, the union father of chapel has said.

In October, it was announced that MNA – publisher of the Wolverhampton Express and Star and Shropshire Star – was looking to cut 135 jobs.

The group was hoping to make the £3m savings necessary through voluntary redundancies. But only 40 staff – 16 in Wolverhampton and 24 in Shropshire – have come forward.

Now 70 face compulsory redundancy. It is unknown how many cuts will be made in editorial.

‘It’s not a threat – there are going to be compulsory redundancies,’John Corser, the Express and Star father of chapel, told Press Gazette.

“We were told there will be between 60 and 70 and the Shropshire Star and the Express and Star.

‘They were asking for voluntary redundancies, but they only found 40. Now they will be found through compulsory redundancies.

‘We hoped they would find more than 40. Everybody is sad to see jobs go.”

Corser said there was sympathy with management as revenues plunge in the downturn.

‘I personally don’t see industrial action achieving anything other than reducing the revenue of the paper even further,’he said.

‘We have to be realistic. The managing director spelt out the severe difficulty the Express and Star is facing, along with other newspapers – specifically the decline in advertising.

‘He has been quite candid about the scale of the problem. We just hope the axe won’t fall on editorial.

‘I think the management were hoping the situation would pick up. It hasn’t and we’re in a difficult position.”

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