AddThis SmartLayers

Union members galvanise to fight redundancy proposals

National Union of Journalists members at Sheffield Newspapers will hold an intentionally disruptive chapel meeting next week as they battle against redundancies.

The new development comes amid claims that the company is to make 11 people redundant in its accountancy department.

It is thought some of the 11 positions in Sheffield will be available in the Leeds office but managing director Mark Rodgers was unavailable to confirm the exact arrangements.

Sheffield Newspapers, which publishes daily title The Star and sister weeklies, recently announced proposals to make five editorial staff compulsorily redundant.

The paper also plans to close its Barnsley and Rotherham district offices, which employ one reporter each, leaving it with just the Doncaster office and Sheffield HQ.

NUJ members have decided to hold a mandatory chapel meeting on Wednesday after voting in favour of some sort of strike action last week.

The meeting, likely to start around 8am, will have no set time frame and last as long as it takes for the chapel to conduct its business.

In the meantime, it is sending two letters to management – a formal, legal notification of the meeting and a second posing 15 questions about the plans it feels remain unanswered.

Jenny Lennox, NUJ northern area assistant organiser, told HoldtheFrontPage: “Hopefully, we’ll be discussing the answers to those questions.

“We’re asking them to respond to a number of things, such as the number of redundancies, whether or not they intend to carry on with the recruitment freeze and the future of the Doncaster office.

“The meeting will end when they’ve finished discussing those answers and any other business on the agenda.”

The NUJ chapel has also asked management whether any Doncaster-based staff will be made redundant, if remaining staff are expected to cover stories about the Barnsley and Rotherham areas, how many editorial jobs are to go and what is the future for other Sheffield Newspaper titles.