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.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +61 2 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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