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Jobs campaign launched during redundancy dispute

A daily newspaper has launched a campaign aimed at getting its readers back to work midway through an industrial dispute over redundancies in its own newsroom.

The Yorkshire Evening Post yesterday heralded the start of ‘Keep Leeds Working’ which will highlight positive stories and include a special employment supplement on 22 April containing advice, hundreds of jobs and tips for budding entrepreneurs.

National Union of Journalists members at the Johnston Press title recently completed a series of strikes, with more possible in the near future, in a row over plans to axe 18 editorial jobs there and at sister title the Yorkshire Post.

The campaign’s launch message said: “Times are undoubtedly tough. The recession of 2009 is resulting in job cuts and company failures.

“In the current climate, finding – or holding onto – a job is an absolute priority.

“The Yorkshire Evening Post understands the difficulties many of our readers are facing and we want to help.

“In the paper and on our website the YEP will inform our readers about job losses in the city and the wider region. But we will also continue to highlight the many positive business stories which are out there.”

Father of the NUJ chapel Pete Lazenby said: “It’s a rather odd coincidence that, at a time when they are in the process of trying to sack 10pc of the editorial workforce, they should launch a campaign like this.

“They don’t seem to have any sense of irony. We’re fighting for our jobs and the livelihoods of people, one of which has a young family.

“We do plan further industrial action in defence of our jobs.

“Meanwhile, they’re launching a campaign about keeping Leeds working while lining decent journalists up for the sack.”

YEP editor Paul Napier had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

  • Pete and YEP reporter Richard Edwards will be in London this week to drum up support for local journalism. Richard will be doing interviews with the BBC, Financial Times and Guardian today as well as addressing the NUJ’s headquarters. Pete will be speaking to union chapels at the Daily Telegraph and Daily Express tomorrow.
  • Comments

    Woody Stayorgo (01/04/2009 10:38:36)
    If you didn’t know the industry was currently in such a state, you’d suggest this was an April Fool’s joke. As it stands, if any of the upcoming press awards were to introduce an “Ironic campaign of the year” award, this would surely be a contender. You’d laugh if it was just so damn depressing. You’ve got to applaud the professionalism of the guys at the Post who have had to sit and work on this gubbins while wondering whether their own job is safe or not. I’m not sure I’d be able to resist the temptation to scoff at management at the mere suggestion of such a campaign at this time.

    Confused (01/04/2009 11:31:04)
    Yeah, lets all stop producing valid content for readers because job security is in doubt. Wake up guys

    Leeds Local (01/04/2009 11:41:05)
    Personally I think the many people in Leeds who have recently become unemployed, all ‘DESENT’ people would appreciate any help out their in getting them back into work. The YEP Campaign is for these people.
    How can this be bad????????????

    Observer (01/04/2009 17:52:39)
    Be intrigued to know after this if anyone at HTFP will be doing a story on Newsquest executive bonuses. I’ve heard they’re doing rather well while asking staff to take pay cuts or unpaid holidays.

    Golam Murtaza (02/04/2009 07:20:06)
    Valid “content” for readers? CONTENT?! I don’t produce content, I produce NEWS. Sorry if that makes me old fashioned.
    As for job security being “in doubt”, that’s wrong too. It isn’t in doubt, it’s non existent.

    New kid on the block (02/04/2009 17:50:00)
    You do what you want you old dinosaur, I’m going to produce content over a range of multi-media platforms which will generate customers’ interest.
    Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got people to twitter at!