As revealed by HoldtheFrontPage this week, the regional publisher is scrapping the subbing unit and moving its work 80 miles away to Sheffield.
Nine people in the content design unit are affected and risk losing their jobs if they are unwilling to relocate.
The move comes weeks after JP closed its Horsham subbing hub in Sussex and transferred the work to a production base in Peterborough, resulting in five redundancies.
The NUJ chapel at Preston, which covers the Lancashire Evening Post and sister weeklies the Chorley and Leyland Guardian, Garstang Courier and Longridge News has now issued a statement condemning the plan, announced shortly before the Preston Guild festival which takes place every 20 years.
It said: “Yet again Johnston Press is willing to allow decades of newspaper experience to head for the exit doors, under the misguided impression this will have no impact on the quality of the newspapers we produce.
“Valuable, experienced members of our production staff are being treated with a complete lack of respect after already suffering many years of being shown no reward for the loyalty and dedication they have shown the titles they serve, in some cases, before Johnston Press took over running them.
“The decision to drop this bombshell on Friday, August 31 – the day before the start of the Preston Guild, a once-every-20-year event with huge significance to the people of Preston and the busiest production time in the Preston office for years – is evidence that the ‘life is local’ philosophy of Johnston Press is little more than a farce.”
Johnston Press has so far declined to comment further on the issue.
Announcing the move to staff last week, North West managing director Gary Fearon said: “The proposed move will help maintain the fidelity of the designs created through the recent investment programme and will aid improvements to the newspaper titles through consistent quality controls.”