The closure of the Archant print operation in Norwich with the loss of 96 jobs next month is another ‘nail of the coffin’ for the Norfolk economy, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Friday 18 October).

Unite said that the decision by publishing giant Archant to outsource the publishing of more than 50 regional newspapers, including the Eastern Daily Press, to another company in Hertfordshire was ‘a bitter blow’, following the closure of Colman’s and Britvic, as well as the proposed closure of water heating manufacturer Heatrae Sadia.

Unite said that the job losses at the Thorpe print centre was another ‘wake up’ call as the traditional industries associated with Norwich were in decline or closing with the adverse impact on the Norfolk economy.

Unite is launching a campaign to save the Archant print jobs and had already gained the support of Norwich South MP Clive Lewis.

Unite regional officer Mark Walker said: “What is happening to the Archant print operation is another nail in the coffin for industries traditionally associated with Norwich and comes hard on the heels of the closure of Colman’s and Britvic.

“There have been an increasing number of unacceptable job losses recently in the industrial and manufacturing sectors that is making the Norfolk economy even more dependent on tourism, agriculture and services.    

“There is real disappointment amongst a loyal workforce at Archant that the printing of local newspaper titles will be carried out over 100 miles away in Hertfordshire – the Eastern Daily Press has been printed in Norwich since the 1870s.

“There is real anger that the Archant management appears to have misled customers to believe that the workers’ employment would transfer with the work.

“This is a real slap in the face for the dedicated workforce – many of whom have been with the company for over 20 years.

“We are hoping to mobilise public opinion in a campaign to save these jobs and ensure that there is a vibrant ‘mixed’ economy for Norfolk in the years ahead.” 


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.