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Staffordshire Newspapers staff consider ballot

27 November 2008

Journalists at Staffordshire Newspapers have agreed to condsider balloting for industrial action about plans to cut 40 jobs.

A packed NUJ chapel meeting agreed to consider a ballot if bosses at the Iliffe-owned papers do not give assurances about editorial staffing.

The cuts were announced last week, along with similar job losses at sister firm the Cambridge News. An Iliffe spokesperson said less than half of the axed posts would be in editorial, but there has been no clarification.

The Burton Mail's Swadlincote office is to close.

Chris Morley, NUJ northern regional organiser, said:

"People need to know what is happening. If we are talking about nearly 20 job cuts in editorial, the effect will be devastating.
"Journalists left behind will be totally over-stretched and the service to readers is bound to suffer.
"There is a concern among staff that the Burton Mail may be forced to go weekly – ending 100 years of tradition.
"The paper is running a 'Save our Heritage' campaign – while management runs down one of Burton's best known old companies, and destroys community cohesion by cutting news and information."

Other papers in the group include Your Leek, the Staffordshire Newsletter, the Ashbourne News Telegraph, and the Uttoxeter Advertiser.

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