Independent chapel protests at sport cuts

The NUJ chapel at the Independent has protested over management plans to cut two jobs on the sports desks of the daily and the Independent on Sunday, as the papers and their website move towards a 24/7 operation.

According to inside sources at The Independent, one senior sports correspondent has already accepted redundancy terms, while one of two of the titles’ correspondents in one major Olympic sport will leave the company.

“This chapel will resist any attempt to coerce members to work across both titles,” said the NUJ chapel resolution, passed unanimously late yesterday.

“We note the company is making cuts to editorial budgets and services across the two papers.

“We call on management to stop the cuts to editorial budgets and services, to seek redeployment of staff earmarked for redundancy, and to renew the guarantee of no redundancies, whether voluntary or compulsory.”

The two papers already have sport and business departments that are largely integrated and a features pool that serves both titles.

Roger Alton is due to take over as Editor at the Independent on June 30, so these changes are seen as being imposed by Simon Kelner, the managing director of Independent News & Media.

The NUJ chapel said it had noted that parent company, Independent News & Media, based in Ireland, made record profits last year of €349.2m (£275.8m), including a €15.5m profit from the UK business, which include the Independent titles.

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