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Trinity boss to meet local MP over job cutbacks

The managing director of Trinity Mirror’s Midlands division has agreed to meet a local MP concerned about the company’s proposed job cutbacks in the region.

Coventry South Labour MP Jim Cunningham has written to Steve Brown to voice concern over plans for around 65 redundancies across a series of titles including the Birmingham Post and Mail, Coventry Telegraph and associated weeklies.

Meanwhile another Labour MP, North Warwickshire and Bedworth’s Mike O’Brien, has also written to Mr Brown urging him to reconsider the plans.

As reported on HoldtheFrontPage on Friday, journalists are threatening a two-day strike next month if anyone is made compulsorily redundant as a result of the cutbacks, although Mr Brown has said he is confident of avoiding this.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman confirmed that Mr Brown had been contacted by Mr Cunningham and had agreed to meet him regarding the restructure in Trinity Mirror Midlands.

However the letter from Mr O’Brien, the contents of which have been made public on a Birmingham-based blog, has yet to arrive.

In it, Mr O’Brien, who is also a middle-ranking government minister, accuses Trinity of a “serious attack on journalism in the West Midlands” which “undermines the ability of constituents to get the news.”

He said that some titles, such as the weekly Bedworth Echo, had been “run down over a number of years.”

“The Telegraph used to dominate news in North Warwickshire but cutbacks mean that other newspapers have grown as the Telegraph circulation has fallen,” Mr O’Brien wrote.

He added: “The remaining journalists do a very professional job but they are not supported by managers. These cuts have got to stop at some time.”

Members of the National Union of Journalists are holding open the threat of a two-day strike on October 7 and 8 if anyone is ultimately forced to lose their job in the cutbacks.

But Mr Brown said on Friday he was confident that the restructure can be undertaken without the need for compulsory redundancies.