NUJ ballots Newsquest South London for action on jobs, cuts and closures
22 May 2015
The company has announced plans to restructure and cut staff across its South London newspaper titles. Newsquest is one of the UK's largest regional newspaper publishers with more than 200 newspapers, magazines and trade publications, including 17 dailies.
In response to the proposals, the union is balloting Newsquest South London NUJ members based at the company’s Sutton offices. Ballot papers are being sent out today.
Local NUJ members want to campaign together to save local media jobs at Newsquest.
A statement from the South London NUJ chapel said:
"Newsquest is continuing to fail in its duty of care to its staff, and also failing the communities in which it operates.
"With the CEO of Gannett, Gracia Martore earning in excess of £7.5m and the company earning £52.8 million profit in 2013 for Newsquest, the US-owned UK subsidiary of Gannett, the business is more than able to invest to ensure its long-term future and we once again urge the company not to go down the road of short-term, damaging cost cutting."
Laura Davison, NUJ organiser, said:
"The NUJ will be writing to the new Culture Secretary and others to highlight what is happening in Newsquest London and across the company. This programme of devastating cuts will make it much more difficult to hold people in power to account and to produce the high quality content readers and advertisers want. Our members are putting forward absolutely legitimate concerns about increased workloads, the impact on quality and the need for investment in editorial and these must be addressed."
The newspaper titles affected by the proposed cuts include: The Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Balham and Tooting Guardian, Mitcham and Morden Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Surrey Comet, Elmbridge Comet, and the Richmond & Twickenham Times. The News Shopper series has editions in Dartford, Lewisham, Greenwich, Gravesend, Bexley and Bromley.
The company plans to merge the South West London and South East London editorial departments and ask South East London reporters to work remotely. The plans also include job cuts and redundancies will impact on a range of posts including group editor, editor, deputy editor, assistant editor, news editor, editorial assistants, online commercial content developer, deputy news editor, assistant news editor, chief reporters and senior sports roles.
The new structure is proposed to take effect from Friday 26 June 2015.