Union takes Fairfax to Fair Work Australia over subs sacking plan

Journalists’ union Media Alliance has taken Fairfax Media’s plans to outsource subbing of its papers in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Newcastle and Wollongong to industry mediation body Fair Work Australia.

The move came after new CEO Greg Hywood dropped the bombshell earlier this week that he plans to shift production to AAP’s Pagemasters in a  move that would potentially see many jobs lost.  

Media Alliance claims that Fairfax has failed to follow the proper procedures for such a move.

According to a release from Media Alliance:

“The Alliance will argue that Fairfax has failed to properly consult with its staff in line with the requirements of the enterprise agreement, has attempted to determine who could be involved in those negotiations and has set an unrealistic timetable for making their final decision.

“The company, in talks in Sydney yesterday morning, advised the Alliance that their proposal was not ‘a done deal’ and that they would genuinely consult over their radical plan to outsource sub-editing and editorial production.

“The company agreed that staff could appoint representatives to a small working party to examine the company’s proposal in detail and to look at other options rather than outsourcing this vital part of newspaper publishing.”

Media Alliance federal secretary, Christopher Warren, said: “The company’s plan would not only see hundreds of dedicated employees losing their jobs, we believe it would seriously damage the newspapers, leading to a decline in quality which will drive away readers and weaken the company.”

Both sides are due to meet with fair Work Australia later today.


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