Lebedev up to his old tricks as Independent journalists face redundancy terms threat

Independent journalists have had “a gun held to their heads” amid the ongoing wrangling over whether the titles will be sold to Alexander Lebedev, reports Stephen Brook on Media Guardian.

He reports that their “generous redundancy terms” would need to be cut from four weeks per year of service to two weeks in order for Lebedev to agree to buy the titles.

Those “generous” reudundancy terms aren’t any better than those being offered to departing Guardian journalists, I’ll venture, which were four weeks’ pay for every year’s service up to £95,000, plus three months’ pay in lieu of notice – the last time I checked.

After sending out strong signals that he was on the brink of buying the Independents since June, Lebedev is surely now at the “take a crap or get off the pot” stage, as an American might put it.

The period of exclusive negotiations between IN&M and Lebedev expires on 26 February – after being extended this week.

Haggling over the redundancy terms paid to journalists who have sweated blood to keep their title going in the face of adversity is part of Lebedev’s MO.

There were similar issues when Lebedev bought the Standard and sought to slash the redundancy terms for departing journalists there.

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