JOURNALISTS at two major NSW newspapers will hold stop-work meetings to discuss plans to move production jobs to New Zealand.
Staff at the Newcastle Herald and the Illawarra Mercury were due to stop work on Wednesday afternoon for an unspecified period of time.
Owner of the newspapers, Fairfax Media, confirmed on Tuesday that it was relocating editorial production jobs, including page design, layout and sub-editing roles, to Fairfax Editorial Services in New Zealand.
A spokesman for Fairfax could not immediately be contacted for comment on the latest action.
The move will result in the loss of 56 full-time equivalent staff, comprising 66 full-time, part-time and casual positions at the Herald, Mercury and their associated community titles.
It follows a period of consultation between the journalists’ union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the company.
Dan Proudman, chairman of the Newcastle Herald’s MEAA house committee, said Wednesday’s stop-work meetings were to inform staff about the latest developments and answer questions.
“Obviously there’s a lot of questions about how this plan is actually going to work,” he told AAP.
He said it remained unclear which staff would lose their jobs but said the company planned to offer voluntary redundancy as an option.