Newsquest tells London sub-editors: Move to Wales or take redundancy

Newsquest is moving production of its newspapers in South London to Wales and Dorset.

Some eight sub-editors are facing the choice of either moving to remote production centres in Weymouth or Newport or taking redundancy.

The titles involved include: the Surrey Coment, Richmond and Twickenham Times, News Shopper series and the Croydon, Sutton, Wandsworth and Wimbledon Guardian series.

A statement from the South London NUJ chapel said: "We regret Newsquest South London’s continued attack on experienced journalists and the constant erosion of what separates professional newsrooms from keen amateur blogs.

“These cuts were known in advance and some of the sub-editing team were allowed to take voluntary redundancy as part of that. This came into effect in July of this year.

"We question Newsquest’s priorities and believe this plan to be counter-productive. We are concerned about the detrimental effect this announcement will have on the newsroom, particularly the increase in workload for the editorial staff, and the drop in quality the loss of the sub-editing team will inevitably lead to.

“The loss in experience from the newsroom is immeasurable – many of the sub-editing team have many years of experience behind them and a wealth of knowledge about the areas we serve. We will now work closely with our members to ensure the best possible outcome for those involved."

In June, journalists on Newsquest titles in South London went on strike for eight days demanding the company at least pay trainees the London Living Wage.

In 2014 Newsquest UK operating profit fell to £51.3m, down from £52.8m in 2013, on turnover of £288.6m (down from £279.3m).

NUJ national organiser Laura Davison said: "The Newsquest cuts roll on. It beggars belief that this profit-making organisation continues to wrench experienced journalists from the heart of their local communities. Its actions show complete contempt to its staff and to its readers and they just don't make sense in any strategic way. This is a huge missed opportunity to keep subs jobs in London as part of the London-wide hub discussed during the earlier dispute.”

Picture: Shutterstock.

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