Workers at The Age (and other Fairfax publications) have done gone on strike:
Fairfax Media journalists in Australia stage four-day strike
SYDNEY (AFP) — Journalists working for Australia’s second largest press group, Fairfax Media, on Thursday launched a four-day day strike to protest at plans to axe 550 jobs, staff and their union said.
Journalists at the company, which publishes the flagship Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers, walked out two days after bosses said they were slashing five percent of the workforce to save 50 million dollars (43 million US)…
Funnily enough, the job cuts come at a time of fat profits for Fairfax: “Fairfax last week announced a 46.8 percent jump in net profit to 386.9 million dollars for 2007-08 on the back of a strong performance from its online businesses.”
And while the union is on strike, scabs are being used to produce what is likely to be a large number of unsold copies of this weekend’s newspapers:
Fairfax strike-breakers take over as staff walk out
August 29, 2008
FAIRFAX Media will use strike-breakers to publish its flagship newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review in a high-stakes battle with staff after journalists yesterday walked out until Monday in protest at 550 planned job cuts. A group of specially trained staff was put into action on Fairfax papers last night to ensure production could proceed…
Printers @ Fairfax are displaying their solidarity with management by staying on the job: “Australian Manufacturers and Workers Union national print secretary Steve Walsh said the union was monitoring the situation but his members would keep working” (Fairfax printers to work through strike, AAP, August 29, 2008). Although it’s possible that, with enough political pressure, printers might be persuaded to join the striking journalists; it’s likely that most workers would be reluctant to cross a picket line.
Finally, in a move that’s unlikely to win them much support — aka a PR blunder — poor old bloody Mike Carlton has lost his job for acting in solidarity with striking journalists by failing to submit a column:
Striking columnist Mike Carlton sacked
August 29, 2008
RADIO broadcaster and Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mike Carlton has been sacked for refusing to write his weekly column during a strike. Carlton, a member of the journalists’ union, the MEAA, took the stand on the grounds that filing the column amounted to crossing a picket line. Carlton does the breakfast show on 2UE, owned by Fairfax Radio. A Fairfax spokeswoman confirmed Carlton had his contract to write a column for the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald terminated because of his refusal to write…
There’s presumably a picket line down on Spencer Street, which members of the public are free to visit and to show support. In the meantime, I just hope hackers don’t launch some kinda DDOS attack on Fairfax’s online services.
That would be just plain wrong, and cause management all kinda headaches.
- For further info, see : Fair go, Fairfax: Don’t discount journalism