Most staff go in Fergies sale

The deal that saw Fergies, one of Australia’s oldest print businesses, sold to rival Printcraft did not include Fergies staff, with only three or four making the move with the business.

The remaining 45 are now looking for work, in what is a tight market for print workers.

Daniel Dougherty, QLD print division secretary for the AMWU says, “There were around 45-47 redundancies. Staff were told on Friday of the sale and let go the same day.”

Long-time managing director John Ferguson himself cleared his desk and left in the day. He had been CEO fgor the past 41 years, of what was one of Australia’s oldest print businesses, founded by his great-grandfather James Ferguson 150 years ago.

Dougherty says, “People on the night shift were told there would be a meeting at one o’clock. At the meeting they told everyone about the deal and they made everyone redundant on the spot. Only three or four staff kept their jobs with the new company.”

Both Fergies and Printcraft declined to comment on the deal.

Dougherty says, “Negotiations had been going on between Fergies and Printcraft for a while, you do not just decide to sell your business one Friday afternoon. Staff were not told, but there were rumours going around and then it was confirmed on the day.

“Most people I talked to were still in shock and they were still recoiling when I called them up on Monday. They are scrambling now to find work.

“There are not as many jobs going in print and back in the day, you only had two or three printers going for the same job. Now we will have 25 to 30 printers going for one job and there is not these high paid positions anymore.

“It is a sign of the competitive nature of the industry.”

Details of what will happen to the Fergies name, plant and equipment are yet to be revealed. The move is the biggest print merger in the Sunshine State to date apart from the PMP IPMG plants, and continues the wave of consolidation that has been taking place in the industry over the past 18 months, in both printers and suppliers.


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