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Union’s fury at threat to 20 Oxford University Press jobs
9:30am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
UNION leaders have reacted angrily after being told up to 20 staff could lose their jobs at publisher Oxford University Press.
Workers in the English Language Teaching department were yesterday locked in talks with bosses as a 30-day consultation process began following a “comprehensive review”.
But members of Unite say the proposed job losses are unnecessary in an organisation employing 1,818 people at its headquarters in Walton Street, Jericho, and 6,300 globally.
Doug Williamson, chairman of the union publishing branch in Oxford, said he had been told 20 jobs could be lost.
He said: “OUP ought to be a big enough organisation to absorb this and move people into alternative jobs. If this was happening in other workplaces that is what you would expect to happen. I would be extremely surprised if they were not able to redeploy these people.
“But if 20 people do lose their jobs, that would be shocking.”
The ELT department is undergoing its biggest reorganisation since the 1990s as the business tackles the effects of recession in key European markets such as Spain along with advances in digital publishing.
Mr Williamson added: “There are emerging markets, particularly in Asia, and the company has to find ways of tapping into them.”
OUP spokesman Rachel Goode refused to confirm how many jobs could be lost.
She said: “A period of consultation will now begin with the employees.”