Bauer slammed for ‘cruel and callous treatment’ of staff

The media industry’s union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) has accused magazine publisher Bauer Media of being “cruel” and callous” with its staff.

The MEAA’s lashing of Bauer follows yesterday’s news that a further 60 people would lose their jobs in the merger between Bauer Media and Pacific Magazines. The large-scale gutting of jobs was in addition to the 70 jobs already axed less than one week ago.

“It is a particularly cruel and callous way to treat people. Yesterday was the first day on the job at Bauer for the former Pacific Magazines employees. It came after months of uncertainty after the acquisition was first announced in October last year,” said Neill Jones, media director of the MEAA.

The MEAA has claimed Bauer is ineligible for the Job Keeper allowance, as it is a foreign-owned entity, forcing stood-down staff into a period of uncertainty around if they can access Job Seeker instead. Mumbrella has followed-up on these claims with both the MEAA and Bauer, as Mumbrella understands foreign-owned businesses can apply for the payment, as long as they conducted business in Australia on 1 March, 2020.

“Bauer, because it is a foreign-owned entity, is not eligible for the Job Keeper allowance so those who have been stood down need to know if they now qualify for JobSeeker,” Jones claimed.

The impacted 60 staff, and a further 15 who were stood down, were told over Zoom about their futures, just three days after Bauer completed its $40m acquisition of Pacific Magazines, formerly part of the Seven West Media business.

That followed staff being put on hold since October 2019 when the deal first began, unsure if their jobs would be needed going forward. Four titles have currently been halted – Ok, NW, Elle Australia and Harper’s Bazaar – and more are expected, including Men’s Health and Women’s Health.

Bauer closed its entire New Zealand arm on 2 April.

The MEAA will be seeking more information from Bauer’s management and contacting members of the union who work inside the magazine group.


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