Fairfax Media staff have voted to go on strike until Monday after the company told them to prepare for cuts in the business ‘equivalent to 120 full-time jobs’.
Staff were notified of the changes in an email from the media company’s editorial director Sean Alymer on Thursday morning.
Hours after that email, staff took to Twitter to announce the strike.
“#BREAKING: The Age newsroom is now on strike until the start of business Monday morning,” entertainment editor Bhakthi Puvanenthrian tweeted.
The Age’s education reporter Henrietta Cook tweeted: “Just changed my out of office reply to ‘I’m on strike with my Fairfax colleagues until Monday march 21, 2016/”
LAST STAND FOR SMH – journos vote 115-3 to strike until Monday in protest at 120 editorial job cuts. #fairgofairfax
— Brad Walter (@BradWalterSMH) March 17, 2016
The initial email to staff read: “We will shortly enter a consultation period with staff and the MEAA [media union] on a proposal to reduce costs across News and Business in the Sydney and Melbourne newsrooms by the equivalent of 120 full-time employees,” the email said, according to Mumbrella.
The email sent to staff reportedly said the cuts will be made through redundancies and cost-cutting measures.
The media company, Australia’s second largest, has been plagued in recent years by lost revenues and falling readership of its print publications, including The Australian Financial Review and The Canberra Times. It is increasingly focussing on online reporting.
The Australian media union has vowed to “fight” following the announcement.
“We will fight for every job,” Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) chief executive Paul Murphy said in a tweet.
Fairfax is yet to comment publicly.