19 December 2014

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More than 100 Trinity Mirror jobs at risk in outsourcing plan

More than 100 jobs are at risk under restructuring plans by Trinity Mirror which will see its advert creation teams across the country outsourced to India.

The publisher has told staff about proposals which affect around 110 positions across the group, with the pre-press, studio and advert creation teams all at risk.

Under the plans, the advert creation roles would be outsourced to a company called Affinity Express at one of its bases in Pune, near Mumbai, while the other two departments would be restructured but remain at the company’s bases in the UK.

The affected staff whose roles are transferring to India are understood to have been offered a transfer to work there but it is not thought that anyone has taken this up yet.

Trinity Mirror is the second major regional publisher to outsource non-editorial roles to overseas providers over the course of recent months.

Earlier this year. Johnston Press outsourced half of its advertising creation teams to India, while its technology solutions team was moved to Romania.

A statement from Trinity Mirror said: “Trinity Mirror has today announced a restructure of its pre-press and studio departments and proposals for all advert creation to be outsourced to an external provider in India.

“These proposals are expected to result in a reduction of approximately 110 positions across the group and Trinity Mirror has entered into a period of consultation with all affected staff and their representatives.

“It is hoped that as many staff as possible will be retained in the business in alternative roles and that any reduction in staff numbers can be achieved through voluntary means.

“Theses changes are expected to be made over a nine-month period and aim to create the most efficient and cost-effective production model for the business.”

Seven of the positions at risk are based in Glasgow and affect Trinity Mirror’s Scottish operation Media Scotland, which was formed last year as the Daily Record and Sunday Mail were merged with the Scottish and Universal titles.

Paul Holleran, Scottish organiser for the National Union of Journalists, is representing those in Glasgow.

He said: “We have got a meeting with them on Friday to assess alternatives. Our view is that there are not enough page planners and designers in place. There are not enough production staff currently dealing with the papers.

“We have suggested they look at redeployment. They are having lots of problems with the system and lots of subs are doing overtime.”

Affinity Express’ website says it is “the leading business process outsourcing company that is 100pc dedicated to digital and print advertising and marketing production services”.

It has production centres in Pune, India, and in Manila in the Philippines.

26 Comments

  1. Madness

    Trinity must be mad. Yes, they’ll save money, but JP’s India woes are very well known.

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  2. Sub Be Good to Me

    Such a sad state of affairs but but you know something really sad, I bet those Indian graphic designers take more effort and produce much better adverts for a quarter of the cost.

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  3. Lord Reith

    That is going to go down very, very badly with the readers of TM newspapers. They regard newspapers as local, part of their world, and sending jobs to another part of the world will be unforgivable to them.

    The commercial logic is irrelevant. That’s not the way readers will see this – once this comes out they’ll regard it as tantamount to betraying local communities.

    Report this comment

  4. hal_the_gal

    OK guys! Let’s up sticks, pack our cases and head for India – or failing that, the Philippines. It’s one thing to relocate within the UK but entirely another to relocate to a different continent! But I suppose offering work elsewhere does let TM off the hook….

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  5. unmotivated, Scotland

    Sub Be Good to Me – not according to recent examples within JP!

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  6. Me, myself and I

    “The affected staff whose roles are transferring to India are understood to have been offered a transfer to work there but it is not thought that anyone has taken this up yet”

    Good luck with that! The same was offered to those who lost their jobs in a similar fashion at JP. Those who enquired about this later found out they would be unable to obtain a work visa for such, as the Mumbai salary offered would be too low.

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  7. johne5knuckle

    In the week after they took a stake in Local World, they underline their commitment to all things local…

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  8. Sub Be Good to Me

    unmotivated, Scotland… having seen at firsthand the instructions given to graphic designers from JP advertising staff it is wonder anything gets done.

    Mind you you only have to look at some of the adverts in the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post to see how bad the situation is

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  9. Page Turner

    This is a disgusting betrayal of local employees and local readers alike. Trinity Mirror deserves to go to the wall after this.

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  10. Fred Flintstone

    Disgusting move, outsourcing is modern day slave labour. Pay them pennies, while some fat cat gets rich from the out sourcing.

    Also DON’T blame the production/prepress/design staff at newspapers for poor looking ads. Sales rep send in the copy and the design staff have no say on it. So much of its poor, low quality graphics off google image search when they have stock library website they can choose from. Some can’t spell simple words like “border” we (and I’m sure other companies get it) they want a “red boarder” Sadly the mangers have been told “the sales reps are all ways right” and I guess some can’t be bothered as its easier to do nothing.

    There is a reason why insurance companies move their call centres back to the UK.

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  11. hacker

    Fred – that is exactly the argument people put forward when the globalisation trend began. From when heavy industry began to leave the UK for the Far East in the 1970s to the clothing industry in the 80s and 90s. Nowadays stacks of goods are made in the Pearl Delta. Do people care? Sort of. They’d prefer jobs to stay in the UK, but ultimately they still buy cheap Chinese made goods instead.

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  12. Cherrywonder

    “the sales reps are all ways right” ?

    That is an assumption from the mad house.

    And it’s “always”.

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  13. Capt. Starlight

    I hear similar cuts are being considered by some Newsquest regions also soon.

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  14. Andy9BZ4

    Sub Be Good To Me – better adverts? – ha ha, you’re having a laugh. My cat can design better adverts.

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  15. Biller

    Fred Flintstone

    Great. So what your saying is that you would rather have the sales reps (You know, the people that bring in the money to pay the wages!!) spell checking the copy instructions in case they have added an extra letter into a few words, rather than selling??

    As a rep, I tried to use Getty images to get copy for an advert – and spent 20 minutes searching on there looking for something, only to find that 99% of the images are American….. so had to resort to google images… is that my fault? Or would you like me to take another 20 minutes selling time out? I assure you, I WISH I had the time to spent hours on each peice of copy – but I dont. I’m busy selling. Thats my job & thats what i’m good at & trained to do. I’m not an artist or a desginer & I do my best, so don’t appreciate being told how to do my job when you know nothing about the systems we use. For example, I needed a picture of a car dashboard, but all the ones on getty images were left hand drive cars – so what do I do? Put that in a customers advert and look like a fool? Or get one of google images & make sure the customers advert is correct?

    In Northcliffe, to be honest, the copy we get back from India is, in the whole, better than what we used to get back from Nottingham.

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  16. Tog

    Word on the street is that JP are losing fortunes as advertisers kick off about their badly designed ads. Customers are refusing to pay, insisting on free corrections and ditching their print advertising. You’d think it was all a deliberate ploy to drive advertisers to a purely digital platform…

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  17. Voice of Reason

    However you look at it it’s another kick up the khyber for loyal staff!

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  18. Fred Flintstone

    Biller:

    The simple answer is to get the design staff to design the advert and get the sales rep JUST to sell the adverts . The problem is all newspapers get sales staff (who have no real experience in design) to design adverts when they should be selling (imo they just supply a rough brief of what the customer wants) Of course , it does not work this way and I have no idea why.

    So many times, you see adverts in local papers and they look terrible and very basic.. Its nothing to do with the talent of production, its what they are told to do eg: (“Creme background, black text. BOLD logo)

    We don’t use getty images but something similar and we have the same problem as its very American. But our sales reps just find some thumbnail off google image search that is 4kb and demand it has to go in and whine and complain when the customer hates the low quality. If its not 4kb, there is the issue of copyright. Even had a rep want the istock photo watermark removed (of course that was not done)

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  19. Mr Brightside

    Outsourcing has been a disaster for JP with a subsequent collapse in ad revenues. Why should it work for Trinity?

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  20. Me, myself and I

    From my experience, the whole system is broken. And so long as the ad’s go to print on time and the money collected, so it will continue. Sloppy copy instructions from the reps leads to sloppy ads from the creatives,

    The creatives have realised it doesn’t matter how closely the instructions are followed the chances are it’s going to come back for a few ‘tweaks’. It’s not very motivating.

    As for outsourced ads, again It doesn’t matter how good/bad they are in India either, if English isn’t their first language then chances are they aren’t going to pick up on spelling and gramatical errors.

    But, I can sympathise with the reps also. Like Biller says, their job is to sell, not spend time on sourcing images. That said, there seems to be a disproportionate amount out there who are quite happy to spend a whole day flapping over a single ad.

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  21. Bright Spark

    I agree with you Fed. However Biller seems to be living on a different planet. Biller you are not allowed to go and grab images of Google Images to use in your adverts… check your IT Acceptable Use Policy. Most of these images are copyrighted!

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  22. northcliffe

    Biller – Surely you can use our own local archive for stock images? Getty is mighty expensive.

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  23. Bright Spark

    We used to have the most efficient and best regarded PrePress Department in the whole country.

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  24. Biller

    Bright Spark

    I use google images as I have not got time to spend flapping around looking for images – my centre in Northcliffe has never mentioned to me a local archive for stock images – we have always been told to use Getty, and if I used Getty for every advert then the revenue for the company would drop as I would be spending most of my time trawling through American images, trying to find something suitable. Our pre press team are aware that we use google images and are happy.

    You obviously don’t understand how we work….. I try hard to get the sales in, and the most common thing the customer will say is: “I’m paying for the advert, so design me something nice, your the designers ”

    No matter how much copy I drag out of them, they just want to get on with their day jobs & get you off the phone / out the shop as quick as possible. I have to juggle trying to design an advert (Which I am not trained to do!), sourcing the images, and trying to keep bringing in revenue to the company.

    I know most people on here have a negative view on sales reps, but I assure you, I do the best I can to pull revenue into my centre, I come into work each day with a happy and positve attitude, I care about my customers & my centre, BUT I can only work with what i’ve got. I maintain that the copy we get back from India, is on the whole, better than the rushed & often wrong copy we used to get back from Nottingham.

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  25. Hot Metal Man

    Why not outsource the TM mangement to the Galapagos Islands – it is the perfect location for endangered species.

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  26. Bee

    Not to mention the 49 staff aleady lost their jobs in Liverpool. TM didnt want to even sent out an announcement about that! Shocking the way the staff are being treated.

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