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Stourbridge 10 stand up to Newsquest to defend colleagues

26 May 2010

Ten journalists in Stourbridge in the West Midlands are balloting on industrial action to defend three colleagues whom Newsquest plans to shift to another news centre in Worcester, 30 miles away.

The NUJ has warned that the management plan threatens journalists' jobs and will also lower the quality of the titles produced at Stourbridge – the Stourbridge News, Halesowen News, Dudley News, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Advertiser and Redditch Advertiser.

Chris Morley, NUJ northern and midlands organiser, said:

"The loss of experienced senior journalists from this centre would also weaken the support available to more junior staff. Cuts have left huge workloads on journalists and the proposals as they stand will make this worse.
"A reasonable alternative strategy has been put forward by the union that would avoid the worst effects of the company's proposals, but I am not convinced that management will listen to logical arguments alone.
"Newsquest plans put both journalists and journalism at risk at Stourbridge, and our members have drawn a line in the sand to say it is not acceptable. We urge the company to listen carefully to what our members are saying about alternative ways to meet their objectives without causing further damage to these well-loved local titles.
"Our members' decision to ballot for action shows their determination and commitment to defend their colleagues and titles."

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