Fairfax staff return to work after week-long strike

Fairfax staff return to work after week-long strikeFairfax Media staff returning to work at The Age on Wednesday. Photo: Lucy Battersby (@LucyBattersby via Twitter)

Journalists at Fairfax Media’s The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age returned to work today following a week of industrial action.

The strike was in response to a restructure of the metro masthead business which led to the loss of 125 jobs from five newsrooms to save the company $30 million.

Upon returning to work, staff members received an email outlining the company’s code of conduct. They were told that belittling colleagues who did not participate in the strike on social media, intimidation to coerce staff into strike action, and encouraging the public boycotting of Fairfax products was, in some cases, grounds for dismissal.

“We will not tolerate behaviour that intimidates or disparages any staff for their personal choices, or which damages our mastheads. In this respect, we note that the breach of the Code or Social Media Policy may lead to the disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment,” the email read.

Some journalists and several politicians criticised the email on social media, claiming it represented an infringement on free speech.

Fairfax has been approached for comment.

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