Industrial action back on table at Trinity Midlands papers

Journalists at Trinity Mirror‘s Midlands newspapers have called a disruptive meeting next week to discuss plans to cut around 65 editorial jobs in the region.

NUJ members had initially planned a 48-hour strike this week over the major restructuring exercise, but this was abandoned after management said compulsory redundancies were unlikely.

Trinity Mirror announced a major project to modernise its Coventry and Birmingham newsrooms in August – including the creation of a single, integrated multimedia newsroom for its Birmingham titles.

Some 300 staff at the Birmingham Post and Mail, Coventry Telegraph and a group of weekly Midlands titles have all been made redundant and told to reapply for their jobs.

In a statement today, the NUJ said it was putting industrial action back on the table because management had yet to tell journalists whether their job applications had been successful.

A mandatory chapel meeting will be held at midday next Thursday, the union said.

NUJ northern organiser Chris Morley said: “The last thing the chapels want to do is to be forced into taking action. But management’s failure to deliver on its promises leaves our members under a huge cloud of uncertainty.

“Very few people are sure about their role, and even those who want to leave don’t yet know whether they will be allowed to go. This is an incredibly difficult time for all our members, and the company is making things 10 times worse by failing to deliver on its commitments to staff.”

In an earlier statement, regional managing director Steve Brown said the company was “confident” there would be no need for compulsory redundancies.

“Ultimately we have to create a solid and workable platform for the hundreds of journalists and other staff who will be part of the business going forward and collectively we need our energy and attention devoted to that.”

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