Australia: Fairfax Persists in Using Unfair Contracts with its Freelancers

Hopes for Fairfax contributors to negotiate a new model contract diminish as Fairfax continues asking its freelancers to sign the same unequitable contracts despite the Australian largest media group’s former proposal to amend their agreement.

The current contracts deprive Fairfax’s contributors from their means of income by granting Fairfax a worldwide exclusive licence to use its contributors’ works “by all means whatsoever“. The contracts also strip away freelancers’ moral rights and prevent most contributors from working for another media group which could be held for a restraint of trade.

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (the Alliance), the union for Australian journalists denounces Fairfax’s lack of concerns over its freelancers’ working conditions and will meet with Fairfax leaders by the end of January to try and find a solution.

“It's highly unlikely that Fairfax will change the agreement without an industrial campaign by their contributors. We are looking at launching that campaign in the coming weeks”, says Richard Harris, the Alliance New South Wales branch Secretary.