NUJ seeks ‘clarity’ from INM over job cut fears

Staff meeting with publisher Peter Vandermeersch express unease over redundancies

INM is believed to be preparing to implement a paywall on its website early next year

INM is believed to be preparing to implement a paywall on its website early next year

 

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) says it will “seek clarification” from the new owner of Independent News and Media (INM) over fears of more job cuts following a staff meeting with the group’s publisher on Wednesday.

Staff at the meeting with Peter Vandermeersch, who was installed as publisher this year by INM’s Dutch-Belgian parent, Mediahuis, expressed unease after a handful of staff photographers were made compulsorily redundant and sent on immediate gardening leave.

Mr Vandermeersch addressed the redundancies at the meeting and also discussed staff concerns about whether more were coming down the track. Staff also raised fears over whether Mediahuis planned to invest in editorial resources, following its buyout of INM earlier this year.

On Thursday night, the NUJ said it remains opposed to compulsory redundancies as “a matter of principle” and will vigorously contest them.

“I have spoken to members who were present at yesterday’s meeting who were disturbed by Mr Vandermeersch’s response to concerns, and what they perceive as the threatening of future redundancies,” said Seamus Dooley, Irish secretary of the NUJ.

“We will seek clarification on that. The view of the NUJ is that we welcome the new owners, and we await their plans for more editorial investment. I don’t think redundancies are compatible with that.”

INM insisted last night “there is no plan” for editorial redundancies.

It said it will continue to develop the business to protect its market position and champion journalism. The company is believed to be preparing to implement a paywall on its website early next year.