A weekly newspaper in Sussex is facing a backlash on Facebook after a group of paper boys and girls were issued with redundancy notices.
The Crawley News has outsourced its distribution contract to a new provider, TNT – meaning its existing distributors face the loss of their jobs.
Editor Andy Worden says the company is doing all it can to help those affected get jobs with the new contractor.
But a Facebook page entitled Boycott the Crawley News is encouraging readers to stop reading the Northcliffe-owned title.
The page was set up on 8 March and has since gained 224 ‘likes’ on the social networking site.
Its author stated: “This is a page set up to get the paper boys and girls their jobs back! They were made redundant and replaced by what seems to be adult foreigners! Another great british tradition down the pan”
The row has also spawned local radio coverage in Sussex.
John Wright, the father of one of the youngsters affected, told BBC Sussex: “Getting a redundancy letter at 15 years old is very bizarre. It’s a great work ethic for the kids. Kids have done paper rounds for hundreds of years.”
Said Andy: “We have outsourced distribution of the Crawley News to TNT who are experts in their field. This decision was not a reflection of the contractor’s performance or the distributors they employed but simply a commercial decision which is deemed necessary to meet the current needs of the business.
“We are doing everything we can to help the distributors affected to get jobs with TNT.”