Bristol journalists plan protests over cuts

By Colin Crummy

NUJ members at the Western Daily Press and
Bristol Evening Post plan to stage protests including a mock funeral
tomorrow Tuesday over owner Northcliffe’s plans to make up to 36.4
posts redundant.

At least four of these job losses will be
compulsory, although 19 of the 42 people who applied for voluntary
redundancy were refused.

Northcliffe have confirmed 34.4
redundancies; a further two could be lost if a plan to transfer staff
to the business desk is not agreed. The 0.4 is thought to refer to
reducing the hours of a part-time position.

announcements are expected to start with the photographic and sports
desks, which will also be merged across both papers. Other mergers will
follow in coming weeks.

Western Daily Press Father of Chapel Paul
Breeden said: “It’s now clearer than ever that the consultation process
has been a sham in its most important respect. The law says this
process is meant to look at reducing the number of job losses, but
management have refused to budge on numbers and we’re facing almost
exactly the same number of redundancies as was suggested by the
consultants last autumn – 36.

“Members are appalled that the
management now thinks the consultation process is over despite
unanimous votes from the two chapels that it should carry on.

spokesperson for Northcliffe said: “These changes are designed to
strengthen the title within a very competitive newspaper market”.

The mock funeral takes place outside the company’s Temple Way offices at 1pm.

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