Union chiefs have demanded would-be owners of JPIMedia rule out compulsory jobs losses at the company for at least two years.
The National Union of Journalists has urged bidders for the regional publisher declare a moratorium on such cuts, which it says would honour existing arrangements in place for staff currently working on its titles.
The union has called on whichever company wins the bidding war to discuss its plans to grow the business, saying the areas JPIMedia’s newspapers serve “desperately need access to quality journalism like never before”.
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet, pictured, said: “In all of these takeovers, our members have typically suffered heavy job losses and their pay and conditions have been affected, so we have understandable concerns about what our members might face if Newsquest is successful in acquiring JPIMedia.
“There may be regulatory issues involved and we know many MPs around the country will be acutely interested in this situation after the General Election given the sheer number of critical Early Day Motions that have been put down in Parliament over the actions of Newsquest in the past.
“We would love to be proved wrong and for JPIMedia to be taken over by a company willing to invest in its core business – news, both in print and digital.
“That is why we are calling on all interested bidders as a minimum to declare a moratorium of at least two years on compulsory jobs losses, the honouring of all existing terms and conditions and maintenance of effective collective bargaining arrangements.
“We would be willing sit down and talk to any new owner about their plans to stabilise and grow this business for the benefit of local communities who desperately need access to quality journalism like never before.”
HTFP has approached JPIMedia, while Newsquest declined to comment.