The National Union of Journalists has hit out over the announcement of job losses at Newsquest’s East Wales division.
As reported on HTFP yesterday, up to nine editorial and advertising staff at the South Wales Argus and its sister weeklies are at risk of redundancy following a restructure.
According to the NUJ, those set to lose their jobs include one sub, a reporter, a photographer and an editorial assistant.
The union also says the cutbacks involve the closure of two district offices in Chepstow and Pontypool.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Newsquest cuts jobs in the UK to increase their American shareholder profits.
“The announcement of job cuts and office closures in Wales is a direct attack on our members and quality journalism. The union continues to fight against the brutal and relentless cost-cutting measures at Newsquest.”
Jenny Lennox, NUJ assistant organiser said: “Yet again we see that Newsquest are cutting jobs and affecting journalistic quality to make short-term profits.
“They have no real long term plan about how to make papers and local media succeed, instead they are retreating from local communities, and making the papers and their websites less relevant to the communities they serve.
“Journalists have had their pay frozen at these titles for more than 3 years, unless they accepted unpaid holiday, and have now been told that they will be made redundant sooner if they didn’t take unpaid leave.
“Such employment practices are appalling and have more in common with the workhouse, than a future-thinking media company.”
Kevin Ward, publisher of Newsquest East Wales said yesterday: “Newsquest East Wales has this week proposed restructures in our editorial and advertising departments. Unfortunately these proposals have placed a number of jobs at risk. We are in consultation with affected staff.”
There has so far been no further response from the company to the union’s comments.