NUJ condemns threat to photographers at Local World
9 June 2014
More than 10 photographers working for Local World in the West of England face losing their jobs and are being asked to accept zero-hours style contracts if they want any work from the company in future.
They have also been told that if they want to become a "freelance consultant" with Local World, they will not get any redundancy pay.
Staff photographers working for newspapers including the Western Daily Press, Bath Chronicle, Gloucester Citizen and Echo and in Yeovil at the Western Gazette have been put at risk of redundancy. The only staff roles left will be primarily on picture desks.
The announcement is part of Local World's plan for a "freelance model" for photographic staff in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Bath, and the Western Daily Press in Bristol (the WDP covers the whole region).
The NUJ has called for the company to retain staff photographers at Local World, but so far the company has refused to allow union representatives to accompany its members into redundancy consultation.
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:
"Long serving and committed photographers are being put in an impossible position by Local World. They have been told they face redundancy or must accept an inferior agreement for freelance work with no guarantees. This is despite the work still being needed. To top it off, staff have been denied access to union support in redundancy meetings. Like other regional newspaper groups Local World appears to have failed to grasp the importance of quality pictures to local journalism, including to the growth of digital and video content across the industry."