Printing company shedding jobs

CUTS: McPherson's Printing Press in Maryborough.

CUTS: McPherson's Printing Press in Maryborough.

McPHERSON'S Printing Group in Maryborough is making at least 38 workers redundant, in what it has called a "hard decision".

In a statement released on Tuesday the company said it was shedding 38 positions from the shop floor as well as a number of indirect and managerial positions.

A company spokesman said it was well known the printing industry was in decline.

"It's to ensure the business continues on a sustainable pathway in the future - to ensure we have the right size of the workforce to match the mix and volume that the business currently has."

"It's well known in recent times that a number of printing companies have faced similar challenges.

"We've communicated (the situation) to the workforce but we're still in the process of working out voluntary redundancies.

"It's a difficult process."

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union regional secretary of the Victorian print division Tony Piccolo said the decision was a consequence of the company losing a key client, Penguin Books.

He said the Penguin Books contract generated 25 per cent of the company's revenue, so the company was shedding 20 per cent of its workforce.

He said the contract was lost when Random House, which had a long-standing partnership with a South Australian printing company, took over Penguin Books last year.

"It wasn't (McPherson's) service or quality - sometimes customers' loyalties lie where they lie," he said.

He said the job losses were distressing for the Maryborough community and for workers, but the union felt no animosity toward the company.

"While it's sad and regrettable ... the company has really been working with the union hand in hand," he said.

"They've been very upfront and at this stage they're saying all the right things.

"They're talking about allowing volunteers to retrain in other areas." But he said some people were worried about the situation.

"There's a lot of angst and fear," he said. "There are a lot of nervous and worried people."

Mr Piccolo said there was still a market for printed books in Australia, with cook books, travel books and hit novels such as 50 Shades of Grey proving popular.

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