Northcliffe 'gross incompetence' creates job losses
2 November 2010
Northcliffe Media has decided to sack more than 50 staff as part of a raft of changes to the nationwide hub operation the company set up 18 months ago. The NUJ has condemned the decision.
The creation of the six "superhubs" last year, each handling subbing and production for a number of titles, resulted in swathes of redundancies – some staff had to move their homes and families or travel long distances to work.
The NUJ warned at the time that this move would mean loss of crucial local experience and removal of staff from the areas they were covering.
Chris Morley, NUJ northern and Midlands organiser, said:
"Northcliffe management is guilty of gross incompetence in driving through a discredited hub system that anyone with any sense knew would fail and now, just 18 months later, that is exactly what has happened.
"While we welcome a return of production to its communities, this has come at yet another unacceptable cost: the loss of another key layer of experienced journalists and loading of more tasks on those who are left – the Nottingham Post now has only 11 reporters, compared with 25 four years ago.
"The latest changes are driven by the revolt of editors against a system they always knew was flawed but failed to stand up to at the time. The key question is how do Northcliffe managers expect the same quality and volume of content to be maintained within the law on working hours?
"As usual, the NUJ will be working hard to guide its members through this terrible mess and to defend them as much as possible from the damage being done to their own titles."