Job losses mean falling standards in the newsroom'

The UK’s biggest newspaper publisher, Trinity Mirror, came under attack from the conference for making journalists at profitable newspapers redundant and for docking bonuses from Birmingham strikers.

A motion tabled by the Birmingham and Coventry branch accused directors of “looting the company to grab short-term bonuses”.

Birmingham Post and Mail FoC Chris Morley said: “In newsrooms the job losses mean falling standards and less time to go the extra yard for a better interview. They mean pulling in a crap press release when there’s a real story out there that our readers would be interested in.”

Morley said that, despite last year’s job cuts, staff had been asked this week to increase the profit margin from last year’s figure of 25 per cent (£18.5m) to 35.9 per cent. He said he understood that a neighbouring newspaper, the family owned Wolverhampton Express & Star, had a profit margin of seven per cent.

A second motion was passed condemning the company for withholding profit-related bonuses of £207 each from 69 journalists who took part in a one-day strike last March.

The motion stated that the conference was “disturbed” that NUJ members had been “discriminated against for taking legitimate, lawful strike action in defence of their pension scheme”.

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