Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2009

South West Wales Media: Fight for jobs, defend conditions

Union members at South West Wales Media - the parent company of the Evening Post, Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal newspapers - are considering taking action in response to a management restructuring plan that will see jobs axed, workload increased by 25%, and shift times for some staff substantially changed.

An NUJ member

Staff at the company are being balloted on industrial action, as part of a campaign of opposition and protest at the cuts, which has won the backing of local AMs, MPs, council leaders and other trade unionists.

The cuts, if they were to go ahead, are not only an attempt to seriously undermine staff working conditions but they are also designed to try and break the growing strength of the recently recognised National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chapel at the company.

The company is undertaking a 30-day consultation process with the NUJ about the restructuring plans, which is due to end on 10 July.

The company, which is a regional subsidiary of the Northcliffe and Daily Mail group, initially said that the plans were because of the current financial situation and the need to make efficiency savings.

However, during the consultation process it has become clear that the company is not prepared to reveal its financial position to the union or the savings it hopes to make.

Instead, union negotiators have been constantly frustrated by a management who are paying lip service to the formalities of consultation and appear to be moving the goalposts at every opportunity during the consultation period.

The company has ruled out accepting voluntary redundancies, undermining its claim that it wishes to avoid or minimise the impact of redundancies. It has been exposed as having another agenda, of increasing workload and changing shift patterns.

At present, seven staff are targeted for redundancies on the production and sports desks - out of a total of 28 staff. As well as reducing the staff by a quarter, the workload will increase by 25%. Remaining staff are expected to process an extra 120 pages a week - up from 400 to 520 a week, as well as managing the company's news websites.

The seven staff slated for redundancy include a disabled member of staff, a mum on maternity leave, a trainee who has had to care for a terminally ill mother who recently died, and perhaps most revealing of one of the company's motives behind all this, two of the three union reps at the company are on the list.

The NUJ won recognition at South West Wales Media only last September, after a bruising two-year battle against a hostile, union-busting employer.

Although the redundancies are only aimed at one section of the 70-plus editorial staff, other journalists see these proposals as being the thin end of a very thick wedge.

The proposals come after an 18-month recruitment freeze which had already seen staff numbers fall by 15%, and a pay freeze imposed in March.

At the same time, the company is proposing to make more than 25% of its staff in all departments redundant by September. The union has been informed by reliable sources that the firm intends to move to a building in the near future that only houses 80 staff - at present more than 200 people are based at the company's head office in Swansea.

NUJ members have had enough. More than half the members of the union's chapel turned up to a recent meeting to discuss a campaign to try and stop the redundancies and changes in working practices.

There has been no history of industrial action at the company for more than 30 years. But, the mood among NUJ members is such that they realise something has to be done.

As one member put it: "if we don't do something, then we have already lost".

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 8 July 2009:

Action now to defend public sector

Youth fight for jobs

Jobs not dole

Socialist Party editorial

Brown's dead duck government

Postal workers need a national fightback

Socialist Party news and analysis

National Express goes off the rails

First Bus - no to pay freeze

Demanding justice for Shrewsbury 24

News in brief

Socialist Party women

Why women don't have real equality

International socialist news and analysis

Police trigger ethnic clashes in Xinjiang

Honduras coup - a warning to workers in Latin America

Sri Lanka: Protest over DfID role

Socialist Party reviews

Stalin's Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky

Arundhati Roy - politics and literature


Higher fees in higher education

Drama students enter the stage of struggle

Teachers' MOTs

First strike against Trust schools

Strike against BSF proposals

Socialist Party workplace news

RMT Annual General Meeting: "If provoked - Will strike"

Save jobs at Vestas wind turbine plant

Private companies caught in jobcentre scam

South West Wales Media: Fight for jobs, defend conditions

Oilc - fighting for decent working conditions in the North Sea


Home   |   The Socialist 8 July 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleNewsquest strike: "It's impossible to do our jobs"

triangleNewsquest strike: Bosses realise 'contraints' of scab labour

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleWorkplace news in brief


triangleSwansea Labour council votes for cuts

triangleThree major West Wales hospitals could close

triangleSuccessful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Wales and the National Question


triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can workers' jobs be protected?

triangleCardiff Central Socialist Party: Will robots take our jobs?

triangleToys R Us, Maplin: worsening retail crisis claims more jobs


triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleBrum care workers protest council attacks

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Refugee Rights campaigners on the 17.3.18 anti-racism demo - pics


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018