Decision to centralise production to Newry base reflects desire to lower wages bill and increase profits
Union will use consultation period in attempt to save as many jobs as possible
August 21st: Unite Regional Officer, Sean Smyth, has expressed his union’s shock at the sudden announcement by Independent News & Media Ltd (INM) that they will discontinue all activities at their facility on Royal Avenue, resulting in the loss of up to 89 jobs of the 201 at the facility:
“While we had some concerns about the commitment of INM to its Royal Avenue base for some time, this large-scale job loss announcement has come out of the blue. Management proposals will mean up to 89 job losses, with plans for 61 being lost in October and the remaining 28 going in June 2016. The remainder of the 201 jobs and print-work currently based in Belfast will then be transferred to their lower-cost operations centre in Newry.
“This is the latest in a series of job loss announcements in Belfast reflecting the continuing difficult conditions prevailing in our economy. Management has sought to justify the case for these job losses by pointing to the long-term downward trend in demand for print and the recent loss of a major contract.
“Unite rejects this explanation, instead the decision to relocate production appears to be driven by management’s desire for profit-maximisation. We will be seeking to use the 30-day consultation period to engage with our membership on our response and to investigate opportunities to minimise the impact of this announcement on the workforce”, Mr Smyth concluded.