Cambridge University Press is laying off almost 160 people in the UK. Chief executive Stephen Bourne says: “We know that this is an incredibly difficult time for those staff that are affected and we will be doing all we can to support them through these changes.” He added, “This has been a very hard decision to make. There are parts of the business doing very well and a lot of them are overseas but two parts are not and one is simply not viable in the long term.” Hardest hit is their Cambridge Printing Services unit, where 133 jobs are being cut (down to a staff of just 37) as printing for books that are sold outside of the UK moves abroad. Their UK education staff is also being cut in half, down to 25 people. In all, the layoffs represent almost 10 percent of the total workforce of 1,700.
Given that much of the staff is unionized, Cambridge has entered into a required 90 “consultation period” over the cuts. Workers call the cuts “immoral,” the Cambridge paper reports.
The paper points out that in their most recent annual report, released
this month, CUP called 2007 – 2008 a “first-class year for the press
with sales reaching £179.5 million” and “another year of market-leading
growth, at 11.8 per cent.” They reported profits of £2 million.
Separately, Oxford University Press is cutting 60 jobs in the US in expectation of state and library budget cuts, according to PW. The press has approximately 700 employees here.