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Johnston Press condemned for new cuts

7 August 2008

The NUJ has hit out at Johnston Press’s latest rounds of cuts announced across the media group’s newsrooms.

The company said it would make up to 30 workers redundant at the Scotsman and Edinburgh Evening News. Journalists on the Sheffield Star also face a mixture of compulsory and voluntary redundancies.

The Star’s offices in Barnsley and Rotherham are set to close and the company also intends to make further reductions at its Sheffield-based production department.

Staff members affected were told their fate on Tuesday and other workers were sent details of the cuts on Wednesday - by email.

Regional journalists are under greater pressure than ever to produce more content with fewer staff.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said:

“Journalists at Johnston Press titles have had enough of the way they are being treated. Frustrations aren’t just because people are losing their jobs.
"Our members are angry because the company is paying scant regard to the people on whom it relies to fill its papers and produce multimedia content.
“The company that last year made more than £124million seems to think that it can keep cutting back on staff, but expect those who remain to take on the extra workloads. Johnston Press has got to start listening to its journalists.”

Julia Armstrong, mother of the chapel at The Star, said:

“People are angry. The Star is paying the price for Johnston Press’s spending spree in the past few years and bad decisions taken by JP's senior management.
"The company relies on the goodwill, loyalty and dedication of its staff who earn meagre salaries well below the national average wage.
"We believe the way to sell more newspapers is to invest in editorial content rather than employ a skeleton staff and we will fight these cuts."

Tags: , newspapers, Scotsman, Sheffield Star, Edinburgh, johnston press