Over 500 workers to go at Fairfax

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Over 500 workers to go at Fairfax

Media giant Fairfax has decided to shed more than 500 workers in an effort to boost its productivity and performance, compounding the nation’s job-loss announcements over the past week.

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Media giant Fairfax has decided to shed more than 500 workers in an effort to boost its productivity and performance, compounding the nation’s job-loss announcements over the past week.

WorkplaceInfo has learned Fairfax CEO David Kirk emailed staff this morning with the announcement that approximately 550 staff across Australia and New Zealand will be made redundant.

The email says the redundancies will affect many business areas, with approximately 30% involving editorial staff. Another 180 employees will be reassigned during the company’s restructure.

Kirk says the initiatives are a ‘logical step’ in the way the business is managed in response to the ‘structural changes going on around us’.

This is a far-reaching program, designed to comprehensively restructure and reposition the business for years to come,’ Kirk says in the email.

‘We wanted to make a major change today across the company in order to accelerate our building of a strong and dynamic integrated media business.’

Salaries and fees paid to the executive leadership team and the board of directors will be frozen for the 2009 financial year.

‘No affect on quality’

Attempting to fend off criticism from workers and unions about the job losses affecting the quality of the papers, Kirk completely rejected any accusation:

‘This initiative has been carefully constructed by the publishers with full regard for the integrity of their mastheads. Our newspapers will remain true to their heritage and their values of quality and excellence.'

‘The period ahead will be difficult as we work through the hard task of the redundancies.  But we will deal openly and fairly with all concerned, and see this through.’

Kenworth axes 80

Kenworth Trucks has also announced it will cut 80 manufacturing staff from its Melbourne factory.

The company has blamed a ‘slowing economy’, high fuel prices and the interest rate hikes for the job losses.

The cuts are among a string of announcements in recent months, including 1500 job losses at Qantas, over 600 jobs from Ford and Cadbury, and Starbucks closing down three-quarters of its stores across Australia.

Smallgoods maker Don KRC has also announced it will sack 640 workers in Victoria and Western Australia by 2010.


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