Melbourne’s Waratah Group is offering staff redundancy packages to reduce employee numbers in offset print production due to a decline in demand and ongoing difficult economic conditions.
An internal announcement was made last Friday citing economic challenges as the reason with employees interested in taking up the offer to make it known by this Friday. It says economic conditions over the past six months have been challenging and a regular management review of forecasted revenues does not anticipate a change in this trend with the result being a decline in demand for products and services.
“Unfortunately, our present staffing levels are higher than required, therefore allowing the opportunity for all staff and management to express interest Voluntary Redundancy. Beyond our control, we are not in a position as a company to sustain our present staffing levels,” the communication cited by Sprinter says.
Waratah Group chief executive officer Brett Chalmers confirmed to Sprinter there will be no forced redundancies with the process voluntary at this stage.
“There is no forced redundancy. We all know the downturn of the print industry and especially the offset side of the print industry, so we are reducing our offset in line with everyone else in the industry,” Chalmers said.
“Everyone else is doing the same thing so all we are asking for in the offset is if anyone wants to put their hand up for a voluntary redundancy, that’s all we’ve done. There is nothing else to it. It’s clear and simple, there is no forced.”
Chalmers did not say how many positions they are looking to make redundant, adding he was taking this path to act responsibly.
“We don’t have a set number in our head. It’s more of a dollar value saving across the group. We have done the responsible thing and been open and honest with everybody and not snuck around them without communicating so I think it is the best approach and the most honest approach,” he said.
“The print industry is a changing industry. Automation has come on board in a big way and the offset is affected. We can look at the paper companies and they are down 26 per cent on paper so it’s not a surprise.
“We are going about it the right way and asking for voluntary redundancies first round.”
Chalmers could not confirm whether superannuation payments for all staff are currently up to date but said he would get back to Sprinter with that information.
The note to staff does indicate Waratah Group will also make its own decisions about redundancies.
“The company will also be making decisions regarding redundant positions which management have selected as necessary. Individual staff members will be notified of these redundancies Monday 21 October 2019,” the note says.
Chalmers also said the company did not at this stage have a set figure of how many positions would need to be made redundant.
Earlier this year the Australian Tax Office (ATO) moved to wind up Waratah Group over unpaid tax with company confirmed the bill was later paid in full.
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