The company announced up to 45 job losses at its newspapers in the West Midlands on Monday including the closure of three weekly titles as part of a cost-saving restructure.
Union members affected by the redundancies held an emergency meeting in Birmingham yesterday afternoon to plan their response to the proposed cuts.
The plans will see the closure of the Sutton Coldfield News, the Chase Post and the Stafford Post, and production and features staff at the company’s Birmingham and Coventry titles merged in a regional hub.
NUJ negotiator Lawrence Shaw said today: “The only beneficiary of these closures is the Northcliffe group, the papers’ rival in this area. It makes no sense to journalists to shut down popular papers that are full of adverts.
“That is why we believe the Trinity Mirror management must have an ulterior motive for the closures, which it is not revealing.
“We will be asking for answers and the chance for these paper to continue to serve their local communities.”
The union will hold an an open debate called Crisis in Midlands Journalism to be held on Thursday 8 December at Birmingham Council House.
Taken together the changes are expected to result in a reduction in editorial headcount of approximately 50 across the Midlands businesses. However the proposals also call for the recruitment of an additional five full-time editorial roles, meaning a total net reduction of 45 jobs.
In a statement on Monday, Trinity Mirror Midlands managing director Steve Anderson-Dixon said the review was vital to ensuring the future of the company’s newspapers and websites in the Midlands.
A formal consultation period with affected staff is now underway.
Those at risk of redundancy include the editor of the Chase Post, Mike Lockley, who recently celebrated 25 years in the role.
In a first-person piece written before the closure announcement, he wrote the words: “A town without a newspaper is a town without a heart.”