Guardian Media plans to cut 150 jobs in Manchester area
10 March 2009
Guardian Media Group (GMG) has announced that half of the journalists they employ in the Manchester area are to be made redundant. The NUJ has condemned the announcement by the company, set up to promote liberal values, that it wants to sack 150 workers across the north west of England.
All weekly editorial offices – from Macclesfield to Rossendale – are to be closed.
The announcement – made to staff this morning – involves centralising all the company's newspaper journalism in Manchester. The company is seeking 39 volunteers for redundancy from the Manchester Evening News and 39 from the weekly titles.
Jenny Lennox, NUJ Assistant Organiser in Manchester, said:
"Guardian Media have a monopoly on local journalism in Manchester and much of Greater Manchester. They are showing total contempt for the communities that have been the heartland of their business.
"Places like Rochdale, Stockport, and Salford are losing the distinct voice that they were given by their locally-based papers.
"There has been no consultation about these drastic plans."
The Guardian national paper was founded in Manchester and produced in the city from 1821 to 1964.
The paper is running a campaign called Living Our Values, which is explained on the paper's website:
"The purpose of this section is to allow all our stakeholders to see how we are measuring up to the high standards outlined by the Scott Trust which owns us.
"These values were originally laid out by CP Scott in an article celebrating the Manchester Guardian's centenary.
"The site also gives you, our readers, the opportunity to become actively involved in editorial campaigns you feel passionate about, enabling you to donate money and resources, whilst ensuring that you are kept informed."
Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:
"Journalists in Manchester have been stunned by this announcement which runs directly against the Living Our Values campaign and the liberal values of the Scott Trust.
"These cuts show a total contempt for readers, advertisers, and the people left behind to do more work with no resources.
"The union will support our members in Manchester to resists these cuts in any way we can.
"I'm confident that Guardian readers will not sit idly by while the management ride roughshod over the company's traditions."