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MEN journalists demand meeting with Scott Trust

Union members at the Manchester Evening News have demanded a meeting with the paper’s ultimate owners, the Scott Trust, over plans to cut up to 150 jobs.

Guardian Media Group is looking to shed 78 editorial jobs as part of the shake-up, 39 of them at the MEN and a further 39 at its 22 weeklies across Greater Manchester.

Chief executive Mark Dodson has admitted that compulsory reduncancies as a result of the proposals will be “unavoidable.”

Now the paper’s National Union of Journalists’ chapel wants to meet with Scott Trust chairman Dame Liz Forgan and other trustees to discuss their plight.

At a meeting yesterday, the chapel unanimously passed a resolution condemning what it called the “sweeping” cuts at both MEN Media and its sister publications in Surrey and Berkshire.

“Since it is clear that these executive decisions have been demanded by the GMG board and sanctioned by the Scott Trust, we request that Dame Liz Forgan and her fellow trustees come to Manchester as soon as possible to speak to us,” it stated.

The resolution said the cutbacks would have “a devastating effect on local democracy and regional journalism” and said compulsory redundancies were unjustified at a time when GMG is still making a profit.

“Management should be under no illusion that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our colleagues. We will be meeting again shortly to discuss our next steps,” the resolution added.

A copy of the resolution has been sent to Mr Dodson by MEN FoC Judy Gordon.

Mr Dodson has previously defended the proposals on the grounds that “the economic viability of local and regional newspapers is under very real and imminent threat.”


Nonsense (12/03/2009 15:21:21)
No, Mr Dobson, the MEN is under threat because of the vast sums it has to hand over to keep The Guardian going, which would perhaps be a little better to stomach if the Guardian was so dull.