Monday, February 19, 2007
Rumours of imminent job cuts at Independent Newspapers are reaching my ears. Hopefully they aren't true, but the rumours do appear to be consistent and substantial.
The Sunday Business Post and Roy Greenslade have already hinted at this, but what I'm hearing is genuinely disturbing.
Is Gavin O'Reilly really intent on outsourcing the production tasks (taking journalistic copy and pictures and turning them into newspaper pages) on his national papers to an office in Armagh, where ad copy is already processed?
Job adverts have already appeared in Armagh, offering salaries approximately half of what staff in Dublin currently receive. And if this is what's going on, then what will happen to the 200 or so production staff set to lose their jobs in Dublin?
Not that the management like it, but the Indo Group is unionised, and I understand that the NUJ may already be involved at this stage.
If jobs are to go, then hopefully the union will be able to negotiate fair settlements for all.
But the scale of these cuts appear to be on a level much higher than had been previously forecast.
And if this is the case, it translates into a further death knell ringing for the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and Evening Herald, which would be well on their way to becoming mere copy generating shops in the capital, while the backroom work of assembling newspapers is done outside the state.