The union says staff at the Bolton News were told yesterday that 10 jobs are risk under the proposals, with a voluntary redundancy scheme open until next Tuesday.
Three photographers, two feature writers, a news editor, one sport content editor/writer, one content editor, an editorial content assistant and a graphic artist are said to have been put at risk.
Staff working at Bolton produce the six-days-a-week Bolton News, the Leigh Journal and the series of Bury Times Group titles including the Bury Times, Radcliffe Times and Prestwich and Whitefield Guide.
According to an NUJ statement issued today, management are putting the changes down to an “ongoing cost review of the Lancashire business.”
David Thomson, pictured above left, NUJ FoC at the Bolton News, said: “This is a devastating and heart-breaking blow to the dedicated and loyal editorial staff who have been rewarded for all their hard work with just one pay rise in the past seven years and, now, the worst round of redundancies I’ve ever encountered in my 13 years as FoC here.
“I have never seen my colleagues as stunned and sombre as they were following the announcement.”
He added: “The latest accounts for Newsquest (North West), of which Bolton is an integral part, show the company’s operating profit increased from £2.6m to £3.4m and staff costs fell by almost £2m. So, this is a profitable company.
“It seems management must have a different set of numbers. I have asked for the company to fully justify the possible job losses. It is vital they make a tangible and legitimate case and back that up with proper, transparent facts and figures.”
The union says a 30-day consultation scheme has now begun, and that it has asked for the VR application deadline to be extended.
HTFP has requested a comment from Newsquest on the proposals.