Union members at Trinity Mirror titles in Liverpool have passed a motion of no confidence in management following the announcement of further editorial cutbacks.
As reported on HTFP yesterday, the company is planning to shed 17 editorial roles on Merseyside, most of them on the Liverpool Daily Post.
National Union of Journalists’ members at the Liverpool centre met following the announcement and unanimously passed a motion of no confidence in the management.
The union chapel also agreed unanimously to start the balloting process for industrial action in the event of compulsory redundancies.
Trinity Mirror has not spelled out in detail the nature of the editorial changes it is proposing, although it is understood that they will mainly affect the Daily Post.
According to the union, the jobs under threat include seven multimedia journalists’ posts, four photographers and all staff working on the copy-taking unit and the electronic picture desk.
Last year, a major restructure of Trinity’s operations in Liverpool led to the loss of 43 editorial roles.
Last week, journalists at the Post and Echo and associated weeklies wrote to management to say they could not take any more cuts.
NUJ assistant organiser Lawrence Shaw said: “The relentless cuts on Merseyside are damaging the quality of the papers and websites, and the local economy. They also lead to stress and other health and safety issues for the journalists left behind.”
A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “We are disappointed that NUJ members have voted in favour of this action, which does nothing to address the issues which are currently facing the Trinity Mirror North West and Wales business.”
Matt (05/11/2009 10:10:33)
Trinity have got a cheek! Their answer to ‘the issues currently facing the business’ is to slash journalsts jobs – not the bonus payments to top execs (who have fiddled while Liverpool burned)and not the huge profits that Trinity continue to make.
Its newspaper management by numbers.
And have they ever once invited the NUJ to be genuinely involved in addressing the business issues? No.
Rank hypocrisy. Good on the members for saying ‘enough is enough’ finally.
Donald (05/11/2009 10:13:56)
Matt, that’s exactly what Trinity Mirror did in the Midlands recently, isn’t it? They asked the NUJ to come up with ideas given so much money needed saving. I’m not sure what the NUJ said or did in response, but they were certainly asked.
Eddie (05/11/2009 11:11:58)
Donald what happened in the mids is that the NUJ views were asked, they ignored all the suggestions and did exactly what they were going to do all the time – ie cut 80 jobs. That’s the only way tm management deal with a crisis! You should know by that consultation in newspapers is in inverted commas
Donald (05/11/2009 11:48:31)
Eddie – what exactly did the NUJ propose? They’ve never actually said. Is this a bizarre situation of a company being more open than the NUJ about what needs to happen? For the NUJ to complain about being ignored, it needs to set out what was ignored in detail. Otherwise, we’ll never know whether the suggestions were ever likely or realistic
Onlooker (05/11/2009 15:16:08)
What a great newspaper the Daily Post used to be. But, like the Birmingham Post, its trifling circulation in such a densely populated region shows it just isn’t delivering what locals want to read any more. I imagine it will go weekly at some point like its Brum stablemate. I’m no fan of Trinity Mirror management but some cuts are inevitable in the circumstances, I would have thought.
Richard Simcox (06/11/2009 15:07:39)
Donald – Trinity more open than the NUJ? Not quite. You may recall that when the NUJ broke the story about the midlands cuts, TM decried it as “scaremongering”, then duly went even further than the chapel anticipated – http://bit.ly/1TWhXM and http://bit.ly/1ANOjX;
this http://bit.ly/s5LY6 explains why the framework the NUJ drew up is not being made public; and this http://bit.ly/1zCMow shows the level of detail and amount of attention chapel members are giving to the state of their titles. It’s a shame Trinity doesn’t appear as concerned about jobs and journalism. Good luck to our colleagues in Merseyside.
Donald (09/11/2009 12:28:02)
But Richard, all your links prove is that the NUJ is hiding behind “commercial reasons” for not setting out how it would save the money the company needed to save. Trinity Mirror broke cover about its commercial situation, and if the NUJ is to be taken seriously when it says it had other proposals, it needs to spell them out. Otherwise, how are we to know that the union can seriously represent our interests? Did the NUJ plans set out how to save money or was it another wish list of “spend more money on this and you’ll get more readers.” Bascially, you’re saying “We had a plan, but we’re not telling you what it is.” Not good enough. If commercial reasons were so important to the NUJ, it would have known advertisers would stop putting ads in papers it thought might close – therefore worsening the problems which already existed.