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MEN chapel seeks explanation from Scott Trust

12 March 2009

Journalists at the Manchester Evening News (MEN) have called on the bosses of the Guardian Media Group to visit Manchester. The NUJ chapel wants them to explain the savage job cuts to journalist jobs in the city.

NUJ members believe the liberal Scott Trust is directly behind the cutting of 150 jobs in the north west of England announced on Tuesday. Newspaper closures and job cuts in the south of England were announced by the company yesterday.

The letter sent yesterday to Guardian regional chief Mark Dodson by MEN journalists reads:

Dear Mark,

At a lengthy and very well-attended MEN NUJ Chapel meeting earlier today, members unanimously passed the following:

The Chapel utterly condemns this week's announcements of sweeping job cuts at the MEN, our Greater Manchester weekly newspapers and the group's publications in Surrey and Berkshire and believes they will have a devastating effect on local democracy and regional journalism.

We also condemn the redundancies inflicted on other sectors of our business.

The Chapel rejects absolutely any compulsory journalistic redundancies, which are especially unpalatable at a time when the organisation is still making a profit. The total number of proposed redundancies is unjustifiable and unsustainable. We demand an early explanation of how you envisage a future MEN/weeklies newsroom will work.

Management should be under no illusion that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our colleagues. We will be meeting again shortly to discuss our next steps.

However, since it is clear that these executive decisions have been demanded by the GMG board and sanctioned by the Scott Trust, we request that Dame Liz Forgan and her fellow trustees come to Manchester as soon as possible to speak to us."

Best wishes,
Judy Gordon, MEN NUJ FoC

Tags: , scott trust, newspapers, manchester evening news, guardian news and media, chapels, cuts