NUJ raises concerns over the future of JPI Media
13 November 2019
The NUJ has questioned whether a Newsquest takeover of JPI Media’s regional newspaper and digital assets would serve the public interest and put at risk employees’ jobs and their terms and conditions.
The union’s reaction comes after reports that US-owned Newsquest was understood to have outbid rivals to take control of JPI Media following months of speculation over who will take control of the regional publisher, formerly Johnston Press.
The NUJ fears that Newsquest has shown that its track record of takeovers involves aggressively stripping out costs, including jobs, and reducing terms and conditions for transferred staff.
In recent years, Newsquest has taken over the Romanes Group in Scotland, NWN Media Ltd in North Wales, Isle of Wight County Press and the CN Group in Cumbria.
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said:
“In all of these takeovers, our members have typically suffered heavy job losses and their pay and conditions have been affected, so we have understandable concerns about what our members might face if Newsquest is successful in acquiring JPI Media.
“There may be regulatory issues involved and we know many MPs around the country will be acutely interested in this situation after the General Election given the sheer number of critical Early Day Motions that have been put down in Parliament over the actions of Newsquest in the past.
“We would love to be proved wrong and for JPI Media to be taken over by a company willing to invest in its core business – news, both in print and digital.
“That is why we are calling on all interested bidders as a minimum to declare a moratorium of at least two years on compulsory jobs losses, the honouring of all existing terms and conditions and maintenance of effective collective bargaining arrangements.
“We would be willing sit down and talk to any new owner about their plans to stabilise and grow this business for the benefit of local communities who desperately need access to quality journalism like never before.”