Urgent consultations on the job implications of Trinity Mirror’s purchase of Northern & Shell, publisher of the Daily Express, are a priority, Unite said today (Friday February 9).
Unite national officer for the print industry Louisa Bull said that the union was keen to hold more detailed talks with the new management to ensure job security for its several hundred print and admin workers.
Trinity Mirror, owner of the Daily Mirror, is to pay £126.7m for the publishing assets of Northern & Shell, which is chaired by Richard Desmond.
“There is, no doubt, that Richard Desmond was one of the worst and most tight-fisted of the many Fleet Street proprietors over the decades. His withdrawal from newspaper and magazine publishing won’t be mourned,” commented Bull.
“However, we have real concerns that the merger of these two newspaper groups could have an adverse impact on the jobs of workers and we will be asking for urgent meetings with the new management for assurances on job security. There are big question marks over the future,” she added.
Bull continued, “I had dialogue with both employers this morning (Friday February 9) and Trinity Mirror is set to present to a general meeting of shareholders to approve the acquisition on February 27.
“We also have concerns about the political diversity in the UK newspaper industry with this long-heralded announcement, given the Mirror’s historic support for the Labour party and the rabid pro-Brexit stance of Desmond’s Express.
“How that will play out remains to be seen, but the mainstream media in the country is heavily supportive of the Tories. What we need is greater plurality of newspapers, not a constriction of political debate at this challenging time for the UK,” she concluded.