In a statement, the NUJ claimed that more than 10 photographers are being asked to accept zero-hours style contracts if they want any work from the company in future.
The union said staff photographers working for newspapers including the Western Daily Press, Bath Chronicle, Gloucester Citizen and Echo and in Yeovil at the Western Gazette have been put at risk of redundancy.
According to the union, Local World plans to introduce a “freelance model” for photographic staff all all its titles in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Bath along with Western Daily Press in Bristol. The only staff roles left will be primarily on picture desks.
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “Long serving and committed photographers are being put in an impossible position by Local World. They have been told they face redundancy or must accept an inferior agreement for freelance work with no guarantees. This is despite the work still being needed.
“To top it off, staff have been denied access to union support in redundancy meetings. Like other regional newspaper groups Local World appears to have failed to grasp the importance of quality pictures to local journalism, including to the growth of digital and video content across the industry.”
A Local World spokesperson said: “Like other organisations, Local World continually reviews its operations, and where this has an impact on employees, full consultation always takes place, as is happening in this particular instance. “