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Express staff berate Desmond as "Britain's greediest billionaire"

24 July 2014

Journalists working for Richard Desmond expressed anger and shock at the announcement that 200 jobs will go at the Daily and Sunday Express and Star titles.

The cuts come despite Richard Desmond's windfall of £450m from the sale of Channel 5.

Members of the NUJ's chapel supported the motion:

"This chapel does not see why hardworking journalists should subsidise Britain's greediest billionaire. It rejects Richard Desmond's damaging and flawed proposals to cut a third of editorial posts across Express Newspapers. We say these historic titles deserve better than the man who has mismanaged their decline and, time and time again, asked his staff to pay the price with pay freezes and with their jobs.

"This recent indignity comes despite a huge cash windfall from the sale of Channel 5 for £450m. This chapel resolves to campaign against these proposals and to highlight the serious problems facing journalists in all sections over pay, workloads and stress, and to work towards a genuinely fair settlement for all staff and casuals."

The cuts will reduce the workforce from 650 to 450 and the jobs will go from the offices in London, Broughton and Scotland. Paul Ashford, group editorial director, told staff he would be asking for voluntary redundancies initially, but would make redundancies compulsory if the target was not met.

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:

"The mice running riot at Express HQ get more crumbs from fat cat Richard Desmond's table than the journalists do. No pay rise for seven years and now told they're to lose their jobs.
"The message is clear. NUJ members want a proprietor who listens to them and shares their ambition for the titles, in all their formats, to thrive. We urge all journalists, whether in digital, print or magazines, to join the NUJ campaign against these cuts and call for fair pay and workloads."

Tags: , richard desmond, express newspapers, daily star, redundancies, national newspapers, newspapers