As reported as breaking news early yesterday afternoon….. applications for voluntary redundancy are again being sought at The Herald group of newspapers, which is seeking to cut 20 editorial posts, plus a further 20 staff from the rest of the workforce.
Union officials were informed yesterday lunchtime of the decision, which management says is down to declining advertising revenue and an expected drop in profit.
The group comprises The Herald, the Sunday Herald, the Evening Times and a magazine division.
It is estimated that The Herald newspaper alone has lost a third of its staff since it was bought by owners, Newsquest, five years ago.
Last summer, staff staged a walk-out at the prospect of a colleague being made compulsorily redundant, and a similar show of strength can be expected should any future redundancies be anything other than voluntary.
But then, various voluntary redundancy applications were agreed to last year, raising the concern where the next batch might come from and how those remaining will be able to cope with the workload.
Said a National Union of Journalists insider: “We will be holding a mass meeting next week to discuss the implications. Newsquest and [regional managing director] Tim Blott should not underestimate the level of anger among editorial staffs over a move based purely on corporate greed and Newsquest’s need to service American shareholders at the expense of Scottish journalists.”
Newsquest is installing, at the papers, a new, state-of-the-art editorial production system.
Meanwhile, concern about staffing levels at the Daily Record will see a meeting take place next week between the paper’s MD, Mark Hollinshead, and the NUJ Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, as part of a recognised, agreed disputes procedure.
Paul Holleran, told allmediascotland.com, from Spain – where he is on holiday: “At least we are meeting with the Daily Record. They have agreed to sit down and discuss. But Newsquest’s response to the [poor advertising] market is to slash 40 posts – it’s bordering on madness, as far as we are concerned.”
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