Newsquest’s bosses in West Yorkshire are worried about falling sales of their papers.
Solution: sack most of your newsroom staff and get them to apply for their own jobs – but there will be fewer of them.
If it wasn’t so serious, you could die laughing. Here’s a company that has lost the plot.
Its journalists, including 29 National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members, have endured a pay freeze lasting more than 1,000 days and the closure of their pension scheme. Now they’re being thrown on the scrap heap.
Paul Davidson, chief executive of this profitable British arm of an American-owned company, sits in his Surrey ivory tower with his enhanced pension and £106,000 pay rise while his managers steer a course for oblivion.
Two editors, six reporting staff and six photographers, including the NUJ’s father of chapel, are at risk of losing their jobs, along with some editorial middle managers’ posts. When the dust settles, there will be two fewer jobs.
Keighley, a post-industrial ex-mill town with high unemployment and social problems, will have its editorial operation merged with Ilkley, a genteel, affluent former spa town.
To pretend this is going to help sales is to live in cloud cuckoo land.
Enough is enough. The Newsquest Bradford chapel today announced it was balloting for industrial action, joining our Newsquest colleagues throughout England.
There have been strikes at Southampton and Brighton. Chapels - workplace branches - in York, Darlington, Bolton, and Blackburn are also balloting.
We’re fighting not just for our journalist members but for our towns and communities, which will be left with pale imitations of newspapers.
By Bob Smith, Father of Chapel, Newsquest Bradford and Newsquest group chapel, NUJ
Strike in Brighton
Ballot in Brighton
Ballot in Blackburn
Ballot in Darlington
Strike in Southampton
LATEST: Newsquest cut jobs in Scotland today
EXTRA: NUJ vice president Donnacha Delong reports from the Brighton picket line