NUJ alarm over cuts at Iconic Newspapers group
The NUJ has expressed alarm at the imposition of another round of cuts by Iconic Newspapers, the company controlled by UK businessman Malcolm Denmark.
The move was announced to staff this week without prior consultation with the NUJ or staff representatives. The proposals include lay-offs, as well as cuts to hours and pay of staff who remain at work.
The NUJ is seeking clarification of the cuts and officials are liaising with members employed in the group.
Ian McGuinness, NUJ Irish organiser, said:
"At a time when we need solid, public service journalism more than ever, we have seen Iconic Newspapers announce their intention to impose another round of savage cuts. These proposals will impact on the newsroom's ability to cover stories, including covid-related matters and on vital news such as courts and local authority meetings.
"Today the NUJ is contacting the members affected, to provide assistance and support both on a collective basis and individually. We would urge the company to engage with the union about the proposals and to reconsider the cuts."
Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish secretary said:
"The latest cuts have implications for staff and for editorial content.
"The NUJ has long been concerned at the extent of the ownership and control exercised by this company on the regional newspaper sector. These cuts follow a series of actions which serve to diminish editorial diversity and undermine the individual character of newspapers acquired by Iconic Newspapers in recent years. The manner in which loyal, dedicated staff have been treated is poor reward for dedication and commitment.
"Local communities, advertisers and public representatives will be shocked to know that a profitable company is behaving in this way at a time when they require the type of quality journalism which has been the hallmark of these local titles over many years."
Titles owned by Iconic Newspapers in the Republic of Ireland include The Donegal Democrat, The Leinster Leader, The Kilkenny People, The Limerick Leader, The Longford Leader, The Tipperary Star, The Leinster Express, The Leitrim Observer, The Clonmel Nationalist, The Dundalk Democrat, The Donegal People's Press, The Limerick Chronicle, The Letterkenny People, The Offaly Express, The South Tipp People, The Leader, The Letterkenny Post, The Finn Valley Post, The Kildare Post, The Inish Times, The Donegal Post, Donegal Now, Kildare Now, Midland Tribune and Tullamore Tribune.