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Union ‘in the dark’ about job losses

Union representatives at Shropshire newspapers claim they are still in the dark about who will lose their jobs, a month after compulsory redundancies were announced.

Staff at the Shropshire Star published by Midlands News Association which also publishes Wolverhampton based Express and Star voted unanimously for strike action in June after they were told compulsory redundancies would be made.

The company sought around 30 voluntary redundancies at the Shropshire title but at the time of the strike ballot only 15 had put themselves forward, while 26 out of 60 had put themselves forward at the Express and Star.

The union wanted a guarantee from management that there would be no compulsory job losses at Shropshire, but National Union of Journalists northern and midlands organiser Chris Morley said there had been a lack of information from company bosses.

He told HTFP he hoped the union would be told more ahead of a chapel meeting this week so they could make informed decisions based on any redundancies.

Said Chris: “The chapel are still in the dark as to who the company want to make redundant. We are hoping for some clarity ahead of the meeting.”

Around 49 compulsory job cuts are in prospect across the MNA as it seeks to reduce its headcount by 90 – a tenth of its workforce. A points system is expected to be used to decide who will lose their job.

Managing director Alan Harris was not available for comment. The company previously put the job losses down to difficult trading conditions.