Regional publisher Newsquest has announced job cuts at newspapers in the North West of England.
The proposals affect the Warrington Guardian, the Sale and Altrincham Messenger, and the Northwich Guardian and will see the loss of three sub editors out of 12; one in three reporters and one in six photographers, claims the National Union of Journalists .
The union said the cuts come despite operating profits of £6.7m last year and claim that staff at The Warrington Guardian will be hit hard as previous staff have left Newsquest earlier this year and have not been replaced.
A spokesperson said if another reporter goes the reporting pool in Warrington will have been halved in six months. The local NUJ chapel are to hold an urgent meeting.
Chris Morley, NUJ northern and midlands organiser said: “The announcement today has stunned our members in Warrington, Sale and Northwich as it came unheralded.
“It is highly regrettable that the company did not seek to engage with our chapel well ahead in a bid to find other, less damaging ways forward before it was too late and business trends became unacceptable in the company’s eyes.
“As it is, we have discovered that Newsquest’s North West business actually got off relatively lightly last year given the profit fall was less than 8pc and now the company has chosen to drop out its devastating news to employees at the height of the holiday season when people affected by the decision are away for their annual break.
“If the company is serious about engaging properly with their staff in the consultation over possible redundancy, it must immediately rethink the period of time it has allowed and extend it to ensure no individual is placed at an unfair disadvantage. We will be working hard to ensure our members are protected from the worst effects of this plan and putting the company’s rationale under the microscope of scrutiny.”
The company has begun a 30 day consultation on the process. Nobody was available for comment.