Petition launched as north news network plans India outsource

A MORAY COUNCILLOR has launched a petition in response to reports that a local newspaper producer is set to outsource part of its production to India.

Earlier this month the regional officer for the Unite union expressed fears that up to 12 jobs with Scottish Provisional Press (SPP) were being lost as the producer of titles including the Northern Scot and Forres Gazette was to outsource pre-production work to Express KCS PVT Ltd in India.

The union say that 12 jobs in Elgin, Inverness, Wick and Golspie would be lost from the end of this month, Unite’s regional officer Wullie Wood saying: “It is ironic at a time when SPP are to be supporting Highland Business Week in September, supporting retaining and creating jobs in the Highlands – but at the same time exporting our members jobs abroad.

“Our members will have great difficulty in finding jobs in their local communities and will need every support.”

So far Scottish Provincial Press have made no comment on the future of their employees involved in pre-press and design work, several of whom the union say have been working for the company for over 20 years.

Scottish Labour councillor for Fochabers/Lhanbryde, Sean Morton, last night launched an online petition calling on SPP to review their decision.

Councillor Morton said: “This is a real blow to the people in Moray and across the Highlands who have given years of service to SPP.  It is deeply disappointing that they have chosen to ship those jobs overseas.

“We’re not talking about a huge number of job losses but we are talking about good, high-quality jobs right here in the North of Scotland – now to be done overseas.

“I hope the Scottish Government is keeping a watchful eye on this situation – we need the north of Scotland to be the place to do business, to be the place for high-quality jobs.

“Above all I hope SPP will remember that when it promises to be a “local champion” that means championing local jobs too. I’ve launched a petition calling on them to rethink their plans. I hope they’ll listen.”