News slims workers in SA, Vic

News Corp is making structural changes to its publishing divisions in Melbourne and Adelaide, and making a number of its workers in print redundant.

ProPrint was told by a disgruntled worker that people in day shifts were given the elbow, and he claims the union was not doing anything about it.

The number of dismissals has not been disclosed, although News says it is not many.

A spokesperson for News says, “There have been a small number of redundancies in the print sectors in regards to changes in publishing. There are reviews being made. It is happening in Melbourne and Adelaide.”

[Related: News Corp dumps traditional audits]

Lorraine Cassin, secretary for the National Print Division at the AMWU says, “The union is aware that there are plans for a restructure at News Corp in South Australia. Meetings will be occurring early this week. At this stage we are not able to comment on any further detail.”

News has print facilities in Westgate, Melbourne and Mile End in Adelaide.

The company has also reopened discussions with rival Fairfax over potentially sharing printing facilities in Queensland. Earlier this month, Fairfax said it would be stopping distribution of selected newspapers to north QLD.

Newspaper printing plants are under pressure as printed newspapers continue to decline in circulation and pagination. Newspaper press orders have collapsed in the western world, and are a tiny fraction of what they were a decade ago.

News Corp remains committed to its printed products, however it is still cutting back production, the popular Manly Daily for instance went from five editions week to just two at the start of February. Fairfax has long signalled a digital first strategy.

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