Unite will fight for the TUPE arrangements of its 60 members at the Essex contract printer, Newsfax, which has gone into administration, if the contract to print the Metro is transferred to News International (NI). Rainham-based Newsfax, which prints t …

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Unite will fight for the TUPE arrangements of its 60 members at the Essex contract printer, Newsfax, which has gone into administration, if the contract to print the Metro is transferred to News International (NI).

Rainham-based Newsfax, which prints the Metro, Financial Times, and USA Today, has become the latest victim of the contraction in the traditional newspaper industry. It went into administration yesterday (Wednesday, 26 September) with 100 jobs under threat.

It is understood that the contract for the Metro will now go to News International at Broxbourne in Hertfordshire.

Unite national officer Steve Sibbald said: “We will be investigating the legal situation if, as expected, the contract to print the Metro is transferred to NI.

“This is a cruel blow to a long-established and dedicated workforce and Unite will be fighting to see that, if the work goes to Broxbourne, our members will have their employment and pay and conditions protected under TUPE regulations.

“We would like those Newsfax employees, who wish to work on the Metro contract at Broxbourne, given priority to continue their working lives.”

The Newsfax announcement follows the news that Johnston Press intends to close its printing facility at Sunderland with the potential loss of 80 jobs.  Consultations are continuing with Unite.

Johnston Press has also announced redundancies at its Portsmouth facility which follows the decision by News International (NI) to terminate its contract to print titles in Portsmouth and Dinnington, forcing the company to consolidate its printing operations.

Steve Sibbald said: “There was a certain inevitability that we would suffer the symptoms of over-capacity in the newspaper industry and the decline in demand for newsprint, with circulation dropping on all titles by an average of eight per cent year-on-year.

“When News International commissioned 18 new presses six years ago, there was always going to be huge pressure on the contract print industry to consolidate and shrink.

“This is obviously devastating news to our members, most of who are highly skilled and very experienced in the industry.”


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