A MOTION HAS been lodged in the Scottish Parliament raising concerns over the decision by the publishers of Moray’s two leading newspapers to replace 11 of its pre-production staff by outsourcing the work to India.
Scottish Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has raised the matter at the Scottish Parliament with the support of her Highlands and Islands colleague David Stewart MSP.
Last week the newspaper publishers Scottish Provincial Press (SPP) confirmed that the eleven jobs were to go at the end of this week in Elgin, Golspie, Wick and Inverness.
A petition first raised by Moray councillor Sean Morton has so far failed to have any impact on the company, who insist that their action is justified and follows in the footsteps of action taken by other major media groups in Scotland.
Confirming that she had raised her concerns at Holyrood, Mrs Grant said: “I am very concerned about the outsourcing of jobs by the SPP and the damage this will do to local communities and the local economy of towns across the Highlands and Moray.
“The impact of taking jobs and outsourcing them will be yet another blow to our region where there has been a steady stream of job losses from the private sector over recent months.
“Communities across the region are deeply concerned at more jobs losses and almost 500 people from the region have signed a petition calling on the SPP to think again and keep these jobs here.
“For the SPP to outsource jobs to outwith Scotland undermines the important role the group have in the fabric of Highlands and Moray life and also damages the SPP titles role as champions and promoters of local business growth and the economy.”
David Stewart MSP added: “The loss of yet more jobs from the Highlands and Moray from a large regional employer is a very worrying and damaging development to the future of journalism and publishing in the region.
“These staff have very specialist skills and given the geography and economy of the Highlands and Moray it raises concern over the lack of transferable opportunities in the area for these people.
“We need to attract investment and jobs to the Highlands and Moray, not shed jobs to thousands of miles away. I would urge the SPP to rethink this decision and help secure jobs in the region.”
The MSPs are also encouraging people to sign the petition at https://goo.gl/bSuYYp which has almost reached 500 signatures and calls on the SPP to rethink the outsourcing.