UNION representatives have held talks with Fairfax Media in Sydney to discuss how and when it will offshore production jobs to New Zealand.
Fairfax on Tuesday confirmed it was proceeding with plans to move page design, layout and sub-editing jobs to Fairfax Editorial Services in New Zealand.
Paul Murphy, a director of media at Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), met with Fairfax representatives at 1pm (AEST) on Thursday.
A spokesman for the MEAA said discussions centred around when, who and how the transfer of jobs will take place.
The meeting comes after the NSW upper house passed a motion earlier on Thursday calling on Fairfax management to abandon its outsourcing plans.
Greens MP John Kaye, who moved the motion, accused Fairfax of “stubbornly pushing ahead with these changes”.
“Fairfax’s proposed changes will undermine the quality of news and current affairs reporting in the Hunter, the Illawarra and the rest of NSW,” Greens MP John Kaye said in a statement.
A spokesman from Fairfax denied the claims.
“We note the NSW upper house’s position about the company’s new editorial production arrangements for the Newcastle Herald and Illawarra Mercury,” Fairfax spokesman Brad Hatch said.
He reissued a statement issued earlier this week saying speculation that the quality of the newspapers would suffer was uninformed and incorrect.
He also denied speculation that the newspapers’ commitment to their local communities would suffer.
Meanwhile, more than $25 million of Fairfax shares have been bought in one transaction, fuelling speculation mining magnate Gina Rinehart is increasing her stake in the media company.
At 1228 AEST on Thursday, 42 million Fairfax shares were bought in one transaction, at a price of 60 cents per share.
The trade was worth $25.2 million, and represents 1.8 per cent of Fairfax’s total issued shares.
It has been speculated that the shares were bought on behalf of Mrs Rinehart, Fairfax’s largest shareholder.
If Mrs Rinehart was behind the buy, her stake in the company would rise to almost 15 per cent.
Fairfax shares closed one cent lower at 60 cents.