Sydney: Journalists at Fairfax Media have voted to go on strike for seven days – including the crucial federal budget week – after management announced a quarter of all newsroom jobs were to be cut, reported The Guardian.
At urgent stop-work meetings in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, described as “emotional and furious”, staff agreed to walk out for a week to send a message to management that it needed to negotiate with them before implementing such significant cuts.
Journalists on the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age in Melbourne and the Australian Financial Review walked off their jobs on Wednesday afternoon in protest at the drastic cut of 125 full-time jobs that was announced in the morning.
The strike, if it continues for the full seven days, is likely to damage Fairfax’s coverage of the federal budget, which is due to be handed down in Canberra on Tuesday. Fairfax usually has one of the largest contingents from any Australian media organisation in the budget lockup.
According to the UK daily’s report, as the industrial action is unlawful the company may attempt to order the journalists back to work tomorrow. If they refuse they would be exposed to the risk of fines.
Fairfax staff last went on strike in May when similar cuts were made across the three mastheads.