Sports journalism roles roles are under threat in a restructure affecting a regional daily and four weekly sister titles, union chiefs have claimed.
The union says the proposed new structure would leave a sports editor, sports sub-editor, Bradford Bulls/Bradford City reporter and sports apprentice to serve the five titles.
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands senior organiser, said the sports staff put at risk “often worked over hours and typically 10-hour days” and described the plan as “a shoddy deal for Newsquest employees and the communities they are trying to provide a professional news service for”.
Linking the proposals to cuts announced at Newsquest’s Darlington centre last month, Chris added: “The union has consistently warned Newsquest that it risked failing in its duty of care by making cuts with no apparent regard to the burden they placed on those remaining.
“The response at Darlington to serious local concerns at new cuts heaped on many that had gone before – as well as the arbitrary axe on critical freelance production help – was totally inadequate.
“These new redundancies at Bradford now also risk an unhealthy workplace with staff being worked into the ground. This is inexcusable when the parent company is enjoying a multi million pound windfall from the currency changes.”
A Newsquest spokesman said: “We’re making modest changes to our editorial structure in Bradford. As usual the NUJ wants to exaggerate the scale and impact of these changes for its own PR purposes.
“The facts are that two members of our sports team are at risk of redundancy. Whilst this is regrettable, we will continue to provide great sports coverage across our portfolio there.”