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Trinity Mirror announces regional redundancies & restructuring

27 May 2016

Trinity Mirror regional centres have been hit with staff redundancies and reorganisation targeting Kent, Essex, Birmingham, Coventry, Merseyside and North Wales. 

The company gives the impression these announcements are merely a housekeeping exercise whilst emphasising they are creating jobs in specific areas. The NUJ welcomes new jobs at Trinity Mirror but remains concerned about the strategic direction of the company based on the restructuring proposals and the impact on the journalism produced.

The union will be scrutinising the roles targeted and expecting wherever possible that individuals affected who want to be redeployed are allowed to do so.

The cuts include:

  • Plans to axe six roles in North Wales
  • Ten roles to go on Merseyside but with jobs created or vacancies filled this will result in the net loss of two jobs
  • Two multi-media journalists in Birmingham to go. In addition, the small Birmingham city centre office, used by council and court reporters, is targeted for closure. Moving work and staff to the existing main office at Fort Dunlop. The three non-editorial staff in the Birmingham office will be cut.

Reorganisation includes:

  • Nine new journalist jobs in Liverpool and North Wales
  • Four new jobs in Birmingham and one in Coventry

The NUJ are aware of proposed changes to former Local World sites in both Kent and Essex and are establishing full details.  The NUJ will further consider the full impact of these changes and analyse how they will affect all NUJ members working for Trinity Mirror, the local communities they serve and the journalism produced.  

Chris Morley, Trinity Mirror national coordinator, said:

"It is of obvious concern that Trinity Mirror's only city centre contact point with its readers and customers in Birmingham – a city of one million people – has the axe poised over it.

"The loss of a city centre presence is unanimously opposed by the Birmingham NUJ chapel. The impression this gives to the population at large is of a company that does not care for the city and is prepared, ironically enough, to retreat behind the battlements of Fort Dunlop.

"But of even greater concern is that important roles are being targeted for the chop because they are viewed as 'more traditional'. This is a slippery slope for the journalism being produced by Trinity Mirror and one highlighted by the NUJ just a few weeks ago to the board and shareholders at the company AGM.

"We will be investigating these proposed changes very closely to understand clearly what the implications are not only for our members but for the communities that these roles serve through existing titles and websites."

Martin Shipton, NUJ Trinity Mirror group chapel chair, said:

"We deplore these latest announcements, which confirm our fear that the group is moving away from journalism that challenges the locally powerful and holds to account public bodies.

"We have been at the forefront of arguing that an increasing democratic deficit exists, where people are not informed about many vital issues that affect their everyday lives. It is bitterly ironic that at a time when the National Assembly for Wales is on course to acquire tax-levying powers, the Daily Post in North Wales has decided that it no longer needs a Welsh affairs correspondent covering the Senedd in Cardiff. Diminishing quality news coverage is a risky strategy that endangers the very existence of journalism that adds value. We call on Trinity Mirror's senior management to consider very carefully the implications of what they are proposing."

In Wales this week there have been job cuts announced at Trinity Mirror at the Daily Post and at Local World’s South Wales Evening Post. 

Ken Smith, on behalf of the NUJ in Wales, said:

"Quality news coverage in Wales is seriously under threat from the latest restructuring being proposed at the Daily Post and South Wales Evening Post.

"In a week where newspapers are reviewing the major Hollywood release, Money Monsters, which highlights the move away from serious journalism to infotainment, it is perhaps ironic that these Welsh newspapers are further turning their back on quality reporting.

"These cuts will further intensify the democratic deficit that exists in Welsh public life, where public bodies are neither reported nor held to account.

"The NUJ in Wales expects there will be a public and political outcry about these cuts and will be approaching all the elected representatives in the Assembly and Westminster to urgently act on this matter.

"We are also calling on the Assembly to establish a media and communications committee tasked with urgently examining and taking action to reverse the continuing decline of serious media coverage in Wales and of Wales."

Tags: , trinity mirror, local world, local news matters, cuts, newspapers, redundancies, wales, merseyside, liverpool, coventry, birmingham, midlands, kent, essex