Seven more jobs cut at York Press

Journalists at the York Press are to continue their industrial action after seven more editorial redundancies were announced on Friday.

Four journalists, one designer and two administrators are to be cut from the staff at the Newsquest-owned paper and volunteers have been sought for redundancy.

These latest cuts follow the axing last month of Press editor Kevin Booth and Chris Buxton, who was editor of the weekly Gazette series.

Their posts were made redundant and Steve Hughes, former managing director of Newsquest York, was made managing editor covering all three positions. Hughes is former editor-in-chief of Newsquest Bolton.

After voting in favour of strike action in January, NUJ members in York have given management notice that they may hold industrial action every weekday between now and 30 March, when the ballot runs out of legal force.

The action is taking the form of chapel meetings, which are being held sporadically at midday.

The NUJ has 30 members at Newsquest York, out of a total editorial staff of about 45.

In a statement, joint NUJ fathers of chapel Tony Kelly and Gavin Aitchison said: “The Press and its journalists have been battered by repeated and callous cuts in recent years, placing serious strain on our ability to serve the people of York, North Yorkshire and East Yorkshire.

“Today’s announcement is a further body blow to local journalism in our region. We have no faith whatsoever in Newsquest’s commitment to quality journalism, nor its ability to deliver it.”

Newsquest cut eight journalists’ jobs at York in June.

In January, NUJ members at The Press asked the NUJ national executive to obtain a commercial valuation for their paper so they could explore ways of organising a local buyout.

Meanwhile, journalists at the Johnston Press-owned Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post returned to work today after a four-day strike in protest at cutbacks.

Local MP Colin Burgon has given his support to the 140 journalists who joined the strike saying: “The Yorkshire Evening Post is a community paper in the widest sense of that word and any loss or damage to that paper is bad news for local people.

“Johnston management: listen to my every word. What I’m saying to them really is that the value of the workers in producing this newspaper cannot be undervalued and they must always remember that.

“Without the workers committed to the newspaper, as most journalists are, then you’ll never have a good newspaper.”

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