IFJ Urges Fairfax To Rethink Axing Hundreds of Jobs In Australia

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins Australia’s Media Alliance in calling

on Fairfax Media to fairly consult its journalists in an effort to avoid axing

hundreds of jobs and outsourcing sub-editing at its leading metropolitan



Fairfax announced plans on May 3

to outsource the jobs of 90 sub-editors

working on news, business and sports content at The Sydney Morning Herald, The

Age in Melbourne, and The Canberra

Times, and an additional 200 jobs in pre-press, production and advertising.


The proposal to outsource jobs to

Pagemasters, a subsidiary of Australian Associated Press (AAP), extends a long

series of mass job-shedding at Fairfax

over six years, according to Alliance Federal Secretary Christopher Warren.


Members of the Alliance,

an IFJ affiliate, have instructed their union to take the issue to Australia’s

industrial mediator, Fair Work Australia.


Warren, a member of the IFJ Asia-Pacific Steering Committee and IFJ Executive

Committee, said, “Fairfax management need to demonstrate that they are willing

to deal in good faith with their journalists who want no more than to

investigate alternative strategies to the one proposed this week.”


But while Fairfax management had agreed to staff

representatives joining a working party to examine the company’s proposal and

look at options other than outsourcing, Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood is

reported as saying the company remains committed to outsourcing sub-editing.


“Continuous resort to job-shedding

and outsourcing fuels a vicious spiral in which the fair and decent working

conditions that support quality journalism are eroded,” Warren said.


“At a time when Fairfax is looking to invest in the future of

quality journalism and the development of market-leading cross-platform news

content, taking the specialised skills and expertise of sub-editors out of local newsrooms is grossly misguided.”


The IFJ further joins the Alliance in calling on

Pagemasters also to consult its staff on upgrading employment conditions and its

current collective agreement to reflect a looming increased workload.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +61 2 9333 0919



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