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Union passes no confidence vote in bosses over job cuts

National Union of Journalists members at a weekly newspaper group have passed a motion of no confidence in management after a jobs cuts announcement.

As reported by HTFP on 11 May, the editorial department of the Johnston Press-owned Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group is to be reorganised with the loss of five roles.

Titles affected by the changes include the Wakefield Express, Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express and Pontefract and Castleford Express.

Posts are under threat include those of two sports journalists, a photographer, a deputy news editor and a digital assistant.

Union members are angry that the managing director of YWNG, Helen Oldham, was not personally present when the announcement was made earlier this month.

They claim that on a visit to staff in Dewsbury on  17 April Ms Oldham gave assurances that there were no immediate plans for staffing changes.

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern & Midlands organiser said: “Cuts in the number of journalists at Yorkshire Weekly Newspapers – when Johnston Press continues to trumpet that ‘life is local’ – seems nonsensical.

“So while our members are struggling to keep pace with the demands of providing quality local content, it is entirely wrong that the company fails to properly and sensitively discuss its requirements with those who are directly affected.

“Johnston Press has a track record in provoking the anger of members for trying to push through change too far and too quickly, without proper reference to the union. I therefore urge managers to act sensibly and without provocation,” he added.

Johnston Press has so far not responded to requests for a comment.


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  • May 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    This is the second time in two years that a JP chapel has expressed its lack of confidence in Helen Oldham (the first occasion was in Halifax in 2010). Since then she has been promoted.

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  • May 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Oh dear! The chapel still hasn’t got it. The management don’t run your newspapers. The banks and venture capitalists do. The ones who lent all those hundreds of millions for expansion and acquisitions in the 90s and now want their interest and capital back. They don’t care about the future of newspapers. They just want their cash. If the managements don’t do as they are told, the papers will just be closed. So forget your cosy contracts, pensions and regular guaranteed salaries. Set up your own newspapers or allied businesses. All else is futile.

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