NUJ calls for guarantee on jobs as Johnston Press goes into administration
17 November 2018
The NUJ has called for meaningful guarantees to protect jobs and titles across Johnston Press, following the company’s decision last night to initiate a pre-pack administration process.
The move into administration – which is being rubber-stamped in court processes in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England this morning – sees the creation of a new company formed by the holders of its current debt. It also allows the company to ditch its defined pension benefit scheme which will now go into the Pension Protection Fund in a serious blow to current and deferred members who will see their entitlements cut.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
“We welcome the commitments made by the current management of Johnston Press that no jobs will be lost in this process and the terms and conditions of staff are protected. However, we have significant concerns about what the long-term intentions of the newly-created company will be. We want meaningful guarantees on the future and integrity of these titles and the livelihoods of staff, and a commitment that this is not a transition leading to a carve-up of the group motivated by asset-stripping rather than a commitment to journalism and publishing.”
“Forcing the pension scheme into the PPF is a terrible blow for all of those members of the scheme and their future retirement plans, whilst the new owners are rewarded with a company free of its responsibilities and obligations to its pension fund.”
The NUJ will hold further talks with Johnston Press on Monday.