Staff in Chester and Llandudno Junction that work on the Daily Post went on strike this afternoon over redundancies, heavy workloads and ‘the threat to quality journalism’.
Staff say this concern has been caused by an ongoing Trinity Mirror-wide restructuring, dubbed as the “merry-go-round of misery”.
Staff on titles in Newcastle, including the Journal and Chronicle, and North Wales, including the Daily Post, held a two-hour disruptive mandatory chapel meeting today for two hours and titles on Merseyside, including the Liverpool Echo, will take similar action tomorrow.
A statement from the Newcastle and North Wales chapels said: “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.”
Although the Daily Post website remained online, and social media activity continued either preloaded or run from elsewhere, their ‘live blog’ did have a conspicuous lull:
Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands organiser, said: “Continual reorganisations that create uncertainty and instability by targeting chapel members for redundancy leaving them worried about workload and quality are having a deeply corrosive impact. This action is a meant as strong message to the company which is pushing through a strategy that is simply not taking our members with them.
“The roadside is littered with casualties and the plans are still not at the stated destination of revenue generation – or anywhere near it. Our members need to see that they are being respected and the demands placed upon them are reasonable. We hope the company will be serious in matching managers’ words about seeking a constructive way forward with finding real solutions to members’ well-founded concerns.”
MPs have signed an early day motion saying they “deplored the announcement from Trinity Mirror that it will be scrapping eight jobs at the North Wales newspaper, the Daily Post, including its only reporter based at the National Assembly for Wales“.
Trinity Mirror North Wales publishes the award-winning Daily Post, North Wales Weekly News, Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, Flintshire Chronicle and Holyhead and Bangor Anglesey Mails – along with numerous other regional titles, and of course the national Mirror title.
Although there are cuts Trinity Mirror has recently splashed the cash to buy the Local World group of papers and websites, with the method highlighted in Private Eye last year:
Trinity Mirror, who are more locally known via their Daily Post Wales title get a mention in Private Eye this month pic.twitter.com/rRzehm8FLO
— Wrexham.com (@wrexham) November 12, 2015