500 Fairfax Journalists Just Called A Snap Strike Over 70 More Job Cuts

Photographers at The Age in Melbourne posted this photo on Twitter this afternoon. Source: Twitter

Journalists at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Canberra Times and Australian Financial Review are on strike for 24 hours following news today of further job losses across the publisher’s metropolitan titles.

Fairfax Media will shed a further 70 photographic and production jobs, outsourcing most of the newspaper’s pictures to the Getty Images agency.

This latest cut means around 10 per cent of staff will go – 25 full-time equivalent positions in editorial production, 30 photographers, reducing the total between Melbourne and Sydney to 10, as well as 15 jobs in the Life Media lifestyle department.

The strike action is unauthorised, leaving the door open for Fairfax management to seek financial penalties from staff, who won’t return to work until 3pm on Thursday.

These new job losses come as the company moves into the latest round of enterprise bargaining with staff.

One Fairfax journalist told Business Insider that news of further cuts came as a surprise and “feels like a massive betrayal” after they’d worked with management over earlier redundancies.

“There were a lot of tears on the newsroom floor today,” the source said.

Media website Mumbrella reports that staff at Fairfax regional titles, the Newcastle Herald and Illawarra Mercury joined the walk out.

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance federal secretary Christopher Warren accused Fairfax of being “incapable of deciding on new production arrangements and sticking with them”.

“At what point does Fairfax stop being a news organisation and merely become a commissioning agency that outsources everything it does?” he said.

* Fairfax is the parent company of Allure Media, the publisher of Business Insider Australia.

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