Employees at Fairfax Media have announced they will strike for seven days after a plan to cut 125 editorial jobs was announced this morning.
The strike is likely to impact Fairfax’s coverage of the 2017 federal budget, which is due to be handed down on Tuesday.
The restructure will impact a quarter of Fairfax media’s journalists from publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.
The move is part of Fairfax’s goal to cut costs by $30m as it faces falling advertising and circulations.
Moreover, all third-party deals will be reviewed and the use of casuals will be significantly reduced in a move which will save $3m of the editorial budget.
Fairfax staff were informed of the cuts this morning by email and in a meeting with editorial director Sean Aylmer.
Moreover, employees have been given a deadline of next Tuesday, May 9, to nominate for a voluntary redundancy.
The decision provoked an angry reaction from the journalists union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).
"The decision indicates that, yet again, Fairfax is opting for savage cuts that will only weaken its business further rather than investing in its products and working to achieve smarter outcomes," said MEAA chief executive Paul Murphy.
"None of the other parts of the Fairfax business are worth anything without the journalism and yet it is the journalism that Fairfax always cuts.
"This will only undermine and damage its mastheads further, alienating its audience and leaving the editorial staff remaining to have to work harder and harder to fill the gaps."
Ad revenue for Fairfax's metropolitan media arm plunged 16.6% in the first half of the current financial year, with real estate classifieds business Domain firmly established as its most profitable business.