Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 17:33 UK

Union fights for dictionary jobs

Chambers Concise Dictionary
Chambers Dictionary has been published in Edinburgh until now

Union officials said they were fighting plans to close the Chambers Dictionary office in Edinburgh.

Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser, said it would "pursue every avenue" to try to keep jobs in Scotland.

Chambers Harrap, the publisher of the dictionary, said all 27 staff in the Scottish capital were expected to be affected.

Chambers titles will be moved to London to be managed by Hodder Education, part of the same publishing group.

Dictionary sales

Earlier this week, Chambers Harrap said it was to close its Edinburgh office, marking the end of a 200 year association with Scotland.

Managers said they could not find a buyer for Chambers titles.

The publisher plans to separate Chambers from Harrap, which publish bilingual dictionaries.

Both have been hit by the steep decline in sales of dictionaries and reference books, with many people now getting information via the internet.

Chambers was established almost two centuries ago in 1819, by brothers William and Robert Chambers.

Mr Holleran said: "The NUJ is shocked at the way this company is going about dismantling a famous and successful Scottish publisher and we will be pursuing every avenue to try to keep these jobs in Scotland."

Hodder Education Group, which will take over the dictionary, is a division of Hachette UK.

A spokesman for Hachette UK said: "The market for dictionaries and reference books in print has been in decline for some years and we have looked long and hard for solutions, investigating many options, including trying to find a buyer for Chambers either in Scotland or elsewhere in publishing before ultimately, and very reluctantly, concluding there was no option other than to propose the closure of the Edinburgh offices."

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Famous dictionary to close office
15 Sep 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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