Fairfax Media has written to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) today about new arrangements which will result in the company sharing printing presses with News Corp Australia. Rumours about such arrangements have been circulating for some time but the decision this morning came as a shock.
“We were blindsided by the announcement this morning” said Lorraine Cassin, National Secretary of the AMWU Printing Division. “Our members will be angry about this decision, many having had years of loyal service” Ms Cassin added.
Unfortunately Fairfax Media has also indicated that the closure of its printing plants at Beresfield, (NSW) and Ormiston (Qld) will result in all staff at those plants being made redundant unless suitable redeployment opportunities are identified.
Ms Cassin said that the AMWU has massive concerns for these workers’ futures and it was a source of distress that a major publisher like Fairfax Media was making printers redundant.
“Fairfax Media has indicated all affected employees will be paid their full entitlements but we know that these closures will hit hard and we will be working with the company to identify redeployment opportunities,” Ms Cassin said.
“While Fairfax Media has stated that the rationalisation is designed to effect ‘efficiencies,’ we urge the company to recognise that its highly skilled printers have given loyal service to the newspaper industry over many years.”
“The AMWU will be consulting with Fairfax Media on any further changes to the operation of its North Richmond plant as the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review transition to printing on News Corp’s Chullora presses.”