AMWU kept in dark over print deal

The AMWU says it is shocked by the Fairfax and News Corp print agreement, with major concerns for the futures of workers at the two Fairfax printing sites set to close, in Ormiston, Brisbane, and Beresfield, Newcastle.

The union says all 120 staff will be made redundant, while Fairfax has said they will be ‘impacted’ by the closing of Fairfax plants, with the company looking at redeployment opportunities.

Fairfax expects to save $15m as a result of the print sharing.

Lorraine Cassin, national secretary of the AMWU Printing Division says, “We were blindsided by the announcement this morning. Our members will be angry about this decision, many having had years of loyal service.

“It is a source of distress that a major publisher like Fairfax is making printers redundant.

“While Fairfax has stated that the rationalisation is designed to effect efficiencies, we urge the company to recognise that its highly skilled printers have given loyal service to the newspaper industry over many years."

[Related: Fairfax and News to share printing]

Fairfax print work produced at Ormiston will be transferred to News plants in Murrarie, Yandina, Warwick and Townsville in Qld, with some being moved over to Fairfax’s site in Tamworth.

Fairfax says all print produced for its Australian Community Media (ACM) division at Beresfield is being transitioned to its sites in Tamworth and North Richmond in NSW, while metro work will be transferred to News at its Chullora facility.

Fairfax’s Metro papers currently produced at North Richmond – The Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review – will be now be printed by News at its Chullora print site.

Cassin says, “The AMWU will be consulting with Fairfax on any further changes to the operation of its North Richmond plant as the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review transition to printing on News Corp’s Chullora presses.”

Fairfax says there will be no change to the availability of its newspapers. The company says publishing will not be affected by the deal, with there being be no material changes to newspapers or scheduling.

Fairfax says both companies will continue to explore further opportunities, with no indication given at this time if more plants will be closing.

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