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Jobs go in Knowsley printing shake-up; New technology blamed.

Byline: ALAN WESTON

NEWS International has announced job losses at its Knowsley site in a massive shake-up of its printing operation.

The newspaper owner is investing in new colour presses at Knowsley and Glasgow, which will require fewer people to operate them.

As part of the shake-up, it will also move printing operations out of Wapping to a new site in Enfield, north London.

News International owns several newspapers including The Sun, The Times, News of the World and The Sunday Times. The job losses will take place over the next four to five years.

It currently employs about 1, 000 print production staff at Wapping, Knowsley and Glasgow, and around two-thirds of those jobs will be lost.

A spokeswoman for News International said she could not be exact about how many jobs would be lost from each site. The majority, around 600, work at Wapping, while Knowsley has just over 300 and Glasgow nearly 100.

She added: ``We are consulting with staff, and staff associations, across all the sites. We cannot break down the job losses by individual sites as there is a lot to be discussed. ''

Les Hinton, executive chairman of News International, said there would be no impact on jobs for at least two years and that staff reductions would be achieved through voluntary redundancies wherever possible.

He added: ``This is a long-range project taking more than four years to complete. Over this period, inevitably, there will be job changes and losses as the new technology comes on line. ''

The investment comes 18 years after a bitter industrial dispute over News International's switching of printing from Fleet Street to Wapping. News International said editorial and commercial staff would remain at Wapping.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 13, 2004
Words:284
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