NUJ slams Newsquest sub-editor redundancies 'disastrous' as publisher brings in centralised hub

The NUJ has criticised newspaper publisher Newsquest after it was revealed up to eight sub-editors are facing redundancy prior to the launch of a centralised copy-editing hub, labelling the move "disastrous".

Cuts: Eight jobs are under threat due to changes as Newsquest

Titles in Wales and Gloucestershire - such as the Barry & District News and the Penarth Times - are understood to be affected by the development. The new, single copy-editing unit will be based at the South Wales Argus office in Newport launching next month.

NUJ organiser for freelance and Wales, John Toner, said: "Getting rid of local subs has proved disastrous for other regional publishers and I do not believe Newsquest will prove the exception. Jobs are to be lost in search of a 'streamlined workflow' that will not materialise.

"Long-serving, loyal employees are being asked to compete with each other for the privilege of uprooting their homes to work in Newport. For many this will simply be impossible.

"Those who lose their jobs will regret this immediately. Newsquest will come to regret it in the long run."

The NUJ launched a petition last month in protest at a four-year pay freeze at Newsquest, which also publishes the Glasgow Herald and Darlington's Northern Echo among its titles.

The group was criticised over its squeeze on staff in light of a £58m operating profit and a $1.3bn giveaway to American shareholders of its parent company, Gannett, over the next two years.