NUJ: So much for Manchester no-redundancies pledge

The NUJ has accused Trinity Mirror of going back on a pledge four months ago that there was ‘”no redundancy programme planned” at MEN Media – with its announcement yesterday that ten more jobs are to go.

Trinity bought the Manchester Evening News and associated weeklies from Guardian Media Group in April and announced yesterday that ten editorial jobs could go as the weekly titles and the evening paper are further integrated. The changes are set to take place in time for MEN Media’s move from Manchester to Oldham.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “This announcement will come as a kick in the teeth to those staff whose jobs are now at risk, particularly given Trinity Mirror’s £72.7m pre-tax profit last year, chief executive, Sly Bailey’s £1.4m pay packet and her promise, made just four months ago that ‘There is no redundancy programme planned.’

“What we’re seeing is another attempt at cost-cutting to inflate profit margins, but with newsrooms already cut to the bone, these redundancies will simply drive down the quality of the titles, ultimately threatening their very survival.

“The worry is that with the company scheduled to make further cuts in 2010, they may attempt a more savage redundancies round when they move staff to a new hub at Oldham, in September.”

Bethan Dorsett and Judy Gordon, joint Mothers of Chapel at the Manchester Evening News, said: “We are not fundamentally opposed to a re-organisation of the weeklies and Manchester Evening News and are awaiting further details from management. However, we are yet to be given any justification for further job losses.

“Our members have already faced the savage cuts of last year which included 78 redundancies, several of which were in production and several of which were compulsory redundancies. The decision to make further cuts in a department that is already struggling is in our view extremely short-sighted.”

Despite the redundancies, MEN Media is in the midst of recruiting five trainee journalists.

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