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Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Fairfax staff stop work over job losses

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Iemma scabs on strikers

Fairfax newspaper staff have walked off the job this week after Fairfax announced on Tuesday that it would sack 550 workers across Australia and New Zealand. Almost one third of the positions to go are those of journalists.

Prominent 2UE media identity Mike Carlton was fired after he refused to cross a picket line to write his weekly column for the Sydney Morning Herald. Other journalists are refusing to go back to work unless Carlton is reinstated. The Workplace Ombudsman is also investigating the matter after a complaint by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).

Staff at the Sydney Morning Herald, the Illawarra Mercury and the Newcastle Herald have set up pickets outside their offices, while journalists in Melbourne held a rally outside the offices of The Age.

The strike action has not yet spread to the Fairfax printing facilities but the printers’ union (AMWU) has said that if pickets are established AMWU members will not cross them.

Disgustingly, New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma has scabbed on the Fairfax strikers by writing an article for the Sydney Morning Herald today. The article titled ‘How the people of NSW were sold out’ is a propaganda piece from his office promoting his plans to privatise the electricity industry.

Unless Fairfax reinstates Carlton, and withdraws the plans to sack the 550 staff, the MEAA has said that it will escalate the industrial action.

By Socialist Party reporters

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