Newspaper employers are ringing alarm bells as circulation and advertising revenues continue to fall. Union officials in Scotland are already dealing with a spate of redundancies with more announcements expected tomorrow. It appears we are in for a difficult period and the position doesn’t appear any better down south, as NUJ senior officials are meeting senior executives from Trinity, Newsquest and Johnston Press over the next few weeks to discuss the deteriorating situation.
Restructuring plans have been agreed in a number of newspaper companies this year, with the job losses attached to that process. However the pressure to implement cuts has not diminished and now the union will be seeking agreements linking staffing levels, workloads and long hours. NUJ health & safety officer and National organiser Paul Holleran said:” We are obviously concerned about the threat to people who may be losing their jobs, but there is also a major problem for those journalists who remain in situ. They face serious problems with less staff expected to deliver the same amount of copy to the pages of their titles but also there is a massive demand for them to fill the online editions. It is not sustainable in respect to the quality of the titles or the worklife balance and health of the editorial staff.”
Two NUJ members in Scotland had heart attacks earlier this month with chapel reps saying they were not surprised, as long hours are becoming the norm in certain newsrooms. Those same reps are reporting that there is a growing anger and willingness to take industrial action among chapel members in the face of relentless cuts.