Members of the National Union of Journalists at Trinity Mirror newspapers in Liverpool, Newcastle and North Wales are set hold two-hour disruptive mandatory chapel meetings to demonstrate against company-wide restructuring dubbed by the union as a “merry-go-round of misery”.
The action will be replicated at the Liverpool Echo tomorrow.
A statement from the Newcastle and North Wales chapels reads: “Members of the NUJ chapels at Trinity Mirror’s centres in North Wales and Newcastle are taking industrial action today, prompted by concerns arising from recent changes in our newsrooms.
“Recent redundancies in Newcastle and the failure to fill vacant positions at both centres have resulted in increased workloads and pressure piled on existing staff, which in turn has an impact on the quality of the journalism we produce. In the North East, the cuts have resulted in a number of highly experienced, respected and talented members of staff leaving the business. Their skills and expertise have been lost from our industry forever.
“These changes, coupled with the fact that we are now all working in a figures-driven environment, are having an impact on our ability to produce the high standards of journalism our newspapers and websites are known for, and our ability to serve our readers and communities.
“The decision to take industrial action is not one that is taken lightly by the loyal, committed and highly motivated journalists that make up these chapels, but it is a decision our members feel necessary given the growing concerns about the future of our newsrooms.”
A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “We’re disappointed that local NUJ chapels in Merseyside, the North East and North Wales have chosen to take industrial action over small but essential changes which are vital to evolving our newsbrands.
“We’ve been open and approachable with our editorial teams and the NUJ in explaining the changes, answering concerns and ensuring we are building a newsroom which works as effectively as possible.
“The proposals which have led to strike action actually increase the size of the team in Newcastle by two FTEs, and there will be no compulsory redundancies in Liverpool. The process is still ongoing in North Wales.
“Nobody cares more about the health of the regional media industry more than us. At the pace the industry is changing, it’s absolutely essential we do everything we can to make sure our newsbrands are able to adapt and increase resilience for the future.”