Archive for January, 2018

  • D&D Mailing embraces the Future

    Leading mailing house D&D Mailing Services has acquired Sydney-based competitor Future Sources NSW and will move the operation including ‘selected key staff’ into its Wetherill Park facility.

    D&D director David Sykes was reluctant to discuss details about the purchase.  “We have made a significant investment but right now our priority is to ensure a smooth transition for our customers.”

    D&D Mailing, which also operates a factory in Noble Park, Melbourne, revealed the move in an email to its customers.

    The directors of D&D Mailing Services and Future Sources NSW have mutually agreed to amalgamate the companies and from 25 January 2018 all of the Future Sources work and selected key staff will be transferred to D&D Mailing Services.

     The transfer of their work and the relocation of their customer service and sales staff will be a seamless well planned operation, there will be no delays and there will be no changes to the quality of your service.  Your existing Trading Terms, credit facility and processing rates will not change.

     The directors of both D&D Mailing Services and Future Sources are personally committed to ensure the absolute success of this amalgamation. We look forward to talking to you soon however, if you have any questions about this amalgamation please do not hesitate in contacting us.

     David Docherty and David Sykes
    D&D Mailing Services

    Future Sources NSW at Alexandria in Sydney.

    According to its now-removed website, Future Sources, based in the inner-city suburb of Alexandria, offered a complete and customised direct mailing service, from the supply of mailing lists to delivery. A large part of the business involved direct mailing of catalogues, while Future Sources also offered data management, document design, materials storage and inventory management

    D&D Mailing Services (D&D) was formed over 15 years ago by two of Australia’s most experienced mail handling operators, David Sykes and David Docherty.

  • Australian Paper calls in the umpire

    Australian Paper at Preston, VIC.

    Australia’s largest envelope manufacturer, Australian Paper, has applied for a Fair Work Commission (FWC) hearing in a bid to end a strike that has entered its third week at the company’s Preston facility and is now hitting its major customers.

    About 90 AMWU members at Australian Paper in Preston begun an indefinite stop work on 16 January to protest against what they describe as management plans to strip their pay and conditions.

    “The picket line is standing strong and we’re getting a lot of support from other unions and the local community,” says AMWU delegate Dean Griffiths.

    “The company has now applied to the FWC for a bargaining order to get both parties back around the table before a mediator and we’re waiting to hear a date for the hearing. Apart from that, we’ve had no contact from the company, except for a generic email they’ve sent out to workers claiming that the union is lying about the outstanding issues.

    “What we’re asking for are modest increases of 2.5 percent over three years. The company has offered a four-year deal with zero per cent in the first year and they’re also looking to cut RDOs.”

    Griffiths says the union picket line is hitting the company’s bottom line.

    “A couple of guys in the warehouse have told me they have barely any stock left and they’re out of stock for Officeworks – they can’t supply Officeworks, one of their major customers, with eleven separate lines of envelopes, paper and exercise books.

    “The company is still refusing to talk to us and they’re treating the workers like a bunch of numbers. For them, it’s all about saving face and that’s why they’d rather go to the FWC then just come outside the door here and talk to us.”

    In a statement last week, Craig Dunn, Australian Paper’s GM communications, said: “The discussions between Australian Paper and our employees are ongoing and remain confidential. We have measures in place to meet the needs of customers during this phase of our discussions.”

    Production workers at the company’s Maryvale paper mill last year agreed to take a five per cent pay cut to secure the future of the operation. Australia’s only manufacturer of printing and packaging paper is owned by Japanese giant Nippon Paper Industries.

  • EFI celebrates 30th birthday at Connect 2018

    The Wynn Las Vegas played host to Connect 2018.

    EFI Connect has wrapped up for another year, with the company marking its 30th anniversary at its users’ conference in Las Vegas. The show featured keynotes, product announcements, and breakout workshops to help EFI clients get the most out of their gear and software.

    Stretching out over four days at the Wynn Las Vegas, Connect 2018 included keynote presentations from Guy Gecht, EFI’s CEO, on the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, and from print guru Dr Joe Webb on how to sell print in today’s digital-centric media market. The conference also played host to another of Gecht’s now-ubiquitous ‘fireside chats’, this time with the first two customers of EFI’s mammoth Nozomi C18000 inkjet packaging press.

    EFI announced several big products for the upcoming year, in both hardware and software. Two new inkjet solutions are slated for release in the first quarter of this year: the flatbed HSF4 printer and the upgraded FabriVU 340i for soft signage; meanwhile, in software, version 6 of EFI’s Productivity Suites has reached the end of the testing cycle and should be rolled out soon. The company also launched its new customer engagement suite, MarketDirect.

    EFI’s sponsors had their own big announcements to make as well. Xeikon has taken over service, support and supply of the Jetrion line of digital label presses from EFI, who will still provide the ink; the Jetrion presses will complement Xeikon’s existing Cheetah, Panther and 3000 series. Xerox, meanwhile, displayed its new digital press, the non-APAC equivalent of Fuji Xerox’s Iridesse, on the show floor.

    Xerox’s yet-unnamed equivalent to the Fuji Xerox Iridesse digital press.

    Frank Mallozzi, EFI.

    Those looking to attend Connect in future years should keep an eye on the calendar, as guests were surveyed about the possibility of returning the conference to its original date in April, when fewer potential attendees are away on holiday; the warmer weather would also make for less of a shock for Australian and New Zealand guests. “Connect was originally in April. We moved it to January to tie it with our sales kickoff initiatives,” said Frank Mallozzi, senior vice president for worldwide sales and marketing at EFI. “We’re going to hear from our customers – we’ve sent a survey out and are waiting for the results. Nothing is firm yet,” he said.

    Look out for our full coverage of Connect 2018 in the next issue of Print21 magazine.

  • Scott Telfer steps into the customer experience battle

    “Without customers you don’t have a business.” says Scot Telfer.

    A wealth of printing industry experience informs the well-known industry identity’s latest venture of delivering a CX point of difference.

    Few individuals have such as deep and varied experience of the printing industry as Scott Telfer. From early days in sales for Heidelberg, through managing some of the most innovative and iconic Sydney-based printing brands – Websdale, Penfold Buscombe, GEON and latterly his own Oxygen, which he sold to Blue Star two and a half years ago – he’s been at the forefront of print production development for the past few decades.

    Now having parted from Blue Star at the end of last year, the affable Telfer is returning to an enduring theme of his industry engagement, ‘customer experience.’ He’s stepping out as CustomerCX, an industry consultant for global business brand, Market Culture Inc.

    “Customer experience is something I’ve always been passionate about. Without customers you don’t have a business. I tell printers it’s not about the investment value of their business, but the customer vale. That’s what will get you higher and better returns,” he said.

    He knows only too well the difficulties of maintaining a customer-centric culture in a small printing business where resources are often stretched just to keep production running. Most printing companies struggle in keeping the customers’ interest first, but Telfer is convinced it’s the only way to prosper.

    “I firmly believe that if you can get all the people in the business engaged with this idea, with asking themselves ‘is this the right decision for the customer’ you will succeed. From the printer on the press through to finishing and despatch, everyone has to have that focus,” he said.

    Increasing customer value is likely to deliver higher returns, he says, while encouraging customer loyalty and “gaining a greater share of their wallet.” Telfer quotes from his bible, Customer Culture Imperative, that customer experience is the last battlefield where businesses can differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

    It’s his mission now to bring that differentiation to printers across Australia and New Zealand.




  • Issue 979 – January 31

    The need for a mediator to help resolve disputes is shown clearly with the seemingly intractable dispute at Australian Paper. Apart from solving their own differences, referring grievances to an impartial umpire is generally the second best option. However too often the outside umpire, such as the Fair Work Commission, doesn’t know the industry and hands down a verdict that fails to satisfy anyone.

     It’s time for the printing industry to look at establishing its own mediation system to resolve disputes before they get to court.

     Welcome to your  latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the printing industry across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor


  • Mr Sticker seals world first label printer

    (l-r) David McCredie (TO Technologies), Michael Williams (Mr Sticker) and Andrew Garrard (TO Technologies).

    With its existing equipment starting to age, Wyong label printer Mr Sticker needed a new machine that could produce high quality, four colour labels to keep up with demand.

     The company was seeing profits erode because its analogue printer couldn’t turn jobs around fast enough. While Mr Sticker makes printing plates in-house, it didn’t produce film to produce the plates. This created a two-day delay while the film is outsourced before the machine is ready to print.

    “We knew Mr Sticker needed to move to digital equipment so we could produce the high-quality, short-run jobs customers were demanding,” says owner/manager Michael Williams. “It was important to find a digital device that could use the same materials as our existing analogue devices so we wouldn’t have to buy specialised material.”

    Mr Sticker also needed a machine able to produce in 250mm width.

    The Central Coast NSW company worked with local Konica Minolta dealer TO Technology to find the right solution. TO Technology suggested Konica Minolta’s new C71cf label printer as an ideal solution but first it would need to be modified.

    The machine usually produces a 330mm web width, but Konica Minolta was able to customize the printer to produce labels in a 250mm web width to meet Mr Sticker’s requirements. This is the first machine to be produced in that width globally, according to Konica Minolta.

    Mr Sticker at 2/5a Lucca Road, North Wyong.

    “The quality of the labels produced by the Konica Minolta C71cf label printer is excellent and the device represents good value for money,” says Williams. “It was easy to use and we could run all the stocks we have through the press. Importantly, we knew the machine would be fully supported by TO Technology as a local provider. The parts were held locally so that, if they were required, the machine wouldn’t be down for too long, which would be costly to a small business like Mr Sticker. If there’s an issue with the printer, TO Technology can be here with parts within two hours and no other supplier could match that. That support is very important.”

    Mr Sticker can now provide same-day turnaround on full-colour, short-run jobs.

    “Some of the widths and lengths of labels we’re doing now, we couldn’t touch before,” says Williams. The machine we had was getting tired and we couldn’t trust that the output would deliver the required quality.

    “The C71cf label printer is very easy to use and maintain, even more so than the analogue presses we have. We’ve also found it very reliable and haven’t needed to call on TO Technology for support. But it’s great to know that they’ll manage the maintenance and upkeep of the machine and we don’t have to worry about it. If something goes wrong, we know they’ll be there to fix it, so we can just concentrate on running the business.”

    Mr Sticker is an Australian family-owned company established in 1980 to supply pressure-sensitive labels and specialised tags. It has grown from a single foil printing machine to a factory containing more than 10 printing machines plus ancillary equipment.

  • Muller Martini buys Kolbus bookbinding

    Swiss manufacturing giant Muller Martini has acquired the binding and bookline business of Germany-based Kolbus.

    The deal includes Kolbus perfect binders, hard case lines and related equipment, as well as the service and spare parts business for all Kolbus bookbinding systems installed worldwide, including Australia and New Zealand.

    Roman Beeler, head of sales for Muller Martini Australia, said the deal had just been announced in Switzerland and few other details were yet available: “It’s very early days yet and we have to wait and see.” Kolbus bookbinding equipment is currently distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Print & Pack.

    Kolbus will continue to be headed up by chief executive Kai Büntemeyer, who says the company will “vigorously expand” its packaging business and continue to focus on case making, parts manufacturing and its foundry business.

    “Our market has become much smaller and versatile at once’: Bruno Müller, CEO Muller Martini

    In a media statement announcing the acquisition, Bruno Müller, CEO of Muller Martini, said: “Structural change has changed the graphic arts industry in recent years and our market has become much smaller and versatile at once.

    “The market changes are directly affecting our customers, who are faced with new business models like digitization. By combining the potentials for success like personnel, know-how, technology and infrastructure of the two companies, Muller Martini can provide the market with innovative solutions in the long term.

    “This secures the future of the softcover and hardcover business of both the customers and the two machine manufacturers – and thus also jobs in the graphic arts industry.”

    The Kolbus bookbinding business will be transferred to the new business unit Müller Martini Buchbinde-Systeme GmbH, which will be integrated into the Muller Martini group as an independent factory in Rahden.

    About 250 Kolbus employees from the bookbinding department will be transferred to the Rahden factory while 900 staff in the packaging and case maker segments will continue to work for Kolbus.

    Muller Martini, a family business founded in 1946, has 1800 employees active in the development and production of industrial system solutions for print finishing. A full range of graphic arts publications, from softcover and hardcover books through to magazines, catalogues, mailshots and newspapers, is produced worldwide using Muller Martini systems.

    Kolbus GmbH & Co. KG, established in 1775, has its headquarters in the eastwestfalien town of Rahden and has three more sites in Gerabronn, Krostitz and Kalamazoo (Michigan).

  • Canon extends inline finishing with Plockmatic


    Canon’s imagePRESS C10000VP

    Canon Australia is broadening its range of inline finishing solutions for Production Print in a new reseller deal with Plockmatic Group.

    “We were looking for booklet making solutions that would complement the high-quality output of our imagePRESS range and deliver a superbly finished product that would work with a broad range of media,” says Anjana Maikap, product marketing manager, Canon Business Services. “Plockmatic is a global leader in finishing solutions and their expertise will help us deliver the best solutions to fit with Canon’s imagePRESS range.

    “We also needed robust technology that would meet our customers’ needs for reliability, flexibility and productivity. Now, our customers can produce beautiful square folded booklets to match the image quality delivered from the imagePRESS series”.

    The agreement covers two Plockmatic devices – the BLM 50 and BLM 35 Production Booklet Makers – allowing Canon customers to now produce stapled or square-fold booklets of up to 200 and 140 pages, at rated engine speeds. Both models can handle coated, uncoated and textured stocks up to 350 gsm.

    The Plockmatic BLM50 200-page (50 sheet) booklet maker features numerous performance and durability enhancements, including a number of patented technologies. The Plockmatic BLM35 is a cost effective 140-page (35 sheet) booklet maker that is built on the same engineering platform as the 50 Sheet platform, but offered at a highly competitive price point.

    Plockmatic Binder converts a conventional saddle stitched booklet into a flat square spine booklet with a look similar to that of a perfect bound book. With a high level of automation, this printer delivers quality books with minimal effort needed from its operator. The system is engineered to support an average volume of up to 30,000 booklets/manuals per month. Plockmatic offers customers versatility and can be easily upgrade the BLM35 to BLM 50 anytime, onsite. The Manual Feed function allows output from another printer to be finished on the inline Plockmatic BLM50/35, even if the printer is running other jobs to the stacker.

    These Plockmatic solutions complement Canon’s existing range of own and third-party finishing options, which include perfect binding, punching, folding, ring binding, booklet making and three-knife trimming.

    Both Plockmatic booklet makers will be commercially available to Canon’s Australian customers from February 2018 and will initially be compatible with the Canon imagePRESS C10000VP, C8000VP, C850 and C750 presses.

    “Production Print continues to be a key focus for our Australian business,” says Gavin Gomes, director, Canon Business Services, “and through our new relationship with Plockmatic, Canon Australia will be able to deliver new capabilities to our Production Print customers.”

  • Issue 978 – January 25, 2018 Weekend SPECIAL

    Depending on which public servant you’re listening to, Fuji Xerox DMS either dropped the ball or delivered an “impressive accomplishment” with its $27 million contract to scan ballot papers in the 2016 federal election. 


    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the printing industry in Australia and New Zealand, and enjoy the long weekend!

    Graham Osborne
    Online editor

  • Auditor slams $27m Fuji Xerox DMS contract

    The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has delivered a scathing attack on the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) over its $27 million contract with Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions to scan ballot papers in the 2016 federal election.

    In a 67-page report, the Audit Office accused the AEC of failing to achieve “value for money” and criticised ballot security, saying the commission had “accepted IT security risk above its usual tolerance.”

    The AEC paid Fuji Xerox DMS – the only supplier asked to quote – a total of $27.2 million to develop and deliver a scanning system to capture voter preferences from Senate ballot papers.

    The ANAO report says the system largely failed and required a full manual recount that took many days and increased costs by up to $8.6 million.

    The AEC has not demonstrably achieved value for money in its procurement of Senate scanning services. It has not used competitive pressure to drive value, nor given due consideration to costs in its procurement decision-making.

    The report found that because of a three-month timeframe to design and deliver the system, compromises were reached between the AEC and Fuji Xerox, including dumping the requirement to comply with government IT security frameworks.

    The Audit Office also found there was a ten-month delay in instructing Fuji Xerox to delete all ballot paper images and data files.

    Both Fuji Xerox and the AEC defended their efforts.

    Wassim Hage-Hassan, operations director NSW of Fuji Xerox DMS, told the ANAO audit team:

    Fuji Xerox worked with the Australian Electoral Commission to deliver a technology based solution that accurately captured voting preferences and still met the immutable deadline to declare an election result.

     Fuji Xerox believes that the solution provided in conjunction with AEC Senate Reform team was a world first in regards to technical and operational delivery in a very tight (approximately 3 month) design, development and implementation time frame.

     The solution also delivered value for money for the Australian public given the risk profiler, accuracy, scale and immutable deadlines of the design, build and delivery phases of the project.

    ‘Impressive accomplishment’: Tom Rogers, AEC

    AEC electoral commissioner Tom Rogers told the Audit Office that the Fuji Xerox solution was an “impressive accomplishment,” especially given the time frame.

    In the extraordinarily short period of three months, and without prior warning, the AEC successfully developed and then implemented a robust, effective, technologically-advanced and entirely new system for counting, under high levels of scrutiny, some 15,000,000 Senate votes in multiple locations around Australia.

     After the report was released, AEC spokesman Phil Diak added: “The AEC, 12 weeks out from the 2016 election and in response to parliament’s passing of new Senate voting arrangements – the biggest in over 30 years – developed successful and secure arrangements to ensure that over 14 million Australian voters had their say and voted in the 2016 federal election. The AEC stands by what was achieved and is proud of it.”

    The full report is available here.





  • EFI announces new gear and software at Connect

    EFI has announced two new inkjet hardware solutions at Connect 2018: the flatbed HSF4 printer and the upgraded FabriVU 340i for soft signage. The supplier also launched its new MarketDirect customer engagement software, and is gearing up for the release of Productivity Suite 6.0. Jake Nelson filed this report from Las Vegas.

    Though neither of the two new hardware solutions were on display at the EFI user conference today, they will be available worldwide, including Australia, in the first quarter of 2018. The 3.2-metre HSF4 will print at speeds of up to 225 boards per hour, while the 3.4-metre FabriVU 340i can print at 250 square metres per hour, fully sublimated inline at engine speed.

    On the software side, EFI’s Enterprise Commercial, Midmarket Print, Publication, Quick Print, Packaging and Corrugated Packaging Productivity Suites will soon be upgraded to version 6.0, which is currently at the end of the testing cycle.

    Nick Benkovich, EFI.

    A bigger announcement was MarketDirect, a customer engagement platform that will allow printing companies and their clients to manage loyalty programs, offers, newsletters, surveys and other customer communication programs. “It’s about allowing a print service provider to become a marketing service provider, which we’ve been talking about for ten years, and enabling their customers to finally get into the world of marketing and not just print stuff,” said Nick Benkovich, senior director portfolio product management at EFI.

    EFI Connect 2018 continues tomorrow at the Wynn Las Vegas.

  • More $multi-million AEC print contracts

    Inside the Fergies facility at Hamilton in Brisbane.

    The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) continues to pump millions of dollars into the local printing industry, with two new mega deals unveiled on the federal government’s AusTender site.

    Brisbane-based James Ferguson Ltd, trading as Fergies, has signed a $1.85 million contract extension to supply the AEC with Printing, Packaging and Storing of Ballot Papers, making the new deal worth a total of $3.5 million. The contract, which began in 2016, now runs until 30 October, 2020. According to its website, Fergies, established 1868, was the first and only Australia Post Bulk Mail Partner-accredited company in Queensland with offset print capability.

    IVE Group has secured a new $1.5 million agreement that runs from December 2017 to December 2020 to supply the AEC with Printing of the Official Guide to electoral events.

    Sydney-based Computershare has been awarded a five-month, $63,000 contract with the AEC for a job described as Printing – dress rehearsals.

    Earlier this month, Sydney direct mail and marketing specialist The Camerons Group kicked off the new year with a $3 million contract to print envelopes for the AEC.

  • Amcor packaging to be fully-recyclable by 2025

    Australian-based multinational Amcor has become the first global packaging company to pledge that all of its packaging will be recyclable or reusable by 2025.

    In making the commitment, Amcor joins ten leading brands and retail companies – most of them Amcor customers – in collaboration with the UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), which estimates the companies together ‘influence’ more than six-million metric tons of plastic packaging each year.

    “Our aspiration is to be the leading global packaging company,” says Amcor CEO Ron Delia. “That means winning on behalf of the environment, customers, consumers, shareholders and our people at the same time, in ways that differentiate Amcor and generate growth.”

    Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Rob Opsomer of EMF says Amcor’s pledge is notable but there is more that can be done to make packaging recyclable and reusable.

    “Amcor being the first global packaging company to commit to working toward 100-percent recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025 is an important milestone towards creating a circular economy for plastics,” said Opsomer, who leads EMF’s Systemic Initiatives. “The company’s commitment and expertise will be instrumental in supporting the growing group of brands and retailers that have set similar targets for themselves.”

    U.K.-based EMF’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to a circular economy, in which plastics and other resources are used over and over.  Amcor is the only packaging company among core partners to EMF and the foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative.

    Amcor’s 35,000 employees generate more than US$9 billion in sales from operations that span 200-plus locations in more than 40 countries.

  • Nozomi’s first two customers by the fireside

    (L-R) Guy Gecht of EFI, Eric Bacourt of Hinojosa, and Mal McGowan of McGowans Print.

    EFI Connect 2018 has hosted CEO Guy Gecht’s ‘fireside chat’, which this year featured the first two customers of the Nozomi C18000 inkjet packaging printer: Eric Bacourt of Spanish packaging giant Hinojosa Packaging Solutions, and Mal McGowan of Ireland’s McGowans Print.

    The duo joined Gecht on stage at the Wynn Las Vegas to discuss the state of European packaging and how the Nozomi has helped their businesses get ahead. “We’ve found the Nozomi is a very efficient piece of equipment,” said Bacourt, who runs one of Spain’s biggest manufacturers of corrugated cardboard packaging – the first in the world to install the C18000. “The definition of the images it provides is also really the highest we’ve been able to find in terms of digital printing on corrugated board. It’s state-of-the-art,” he said.

    “The Nozomi is a game changer,” said McGowan, whose company, McGowans Print, is a purely digital house covering all aspects of digital print and is now moving into corrugated board. “It’s a complete new era – the biggest change I’ve seen in digital technology in, I would say, the last 10 years. You can tell a Nozomi print a mile away – it’s better, it’s got a gloss finish, and it’s probably the easiest sale for my salespeople to do. Same price, but a hell of a lot better.”

    Europe’s recent geopolitical upheavals didn’t escape notice, with Bacourt expressing his concern about the Catalonian secession crisis and its impact on business, and McGowan crossing his fingers for a ‘soft Brexit’ that won’t cause headaches at the Northern Irish border.

    There was also some advice on offer from both printers. Bacourt told the audience that corrugated board manufacturers need to have plants close to their customers, as shipping more than 400 kilometres or so is not cost-effective; McGowan, meanwhile, warned that in small markets such as Ireland, diversification is important – a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ printer will fare much better in an environment like this than a specialty house.

    David Lindsay, EFI.

    The EFI Nozomi C18000 is capable of printing 75 linear metres per minute on substrates up to 1.8 metres wide. The secret to its success is its high-quality, single-pass printing, says David Lindsay, PR manager at EFI. “It really moves digital beyond sampling and prototypes into full-fledged production. It’s really competitive with medium-run litho,” he said.

    There haven’t been any Australian installations yet, but the interest is there, and it’s available worldwide now. “We have interest globallly, including in Australia,” said Lindsay.

  • Pass-the-parcel in dynamic growth

    By 2021, more than a billion parcels will reach Australia per year, according to global technology company Pitney Bowes, which has released its second annual Parcel Shipping Index that measures both volume and spend for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-business and consumer consigned shipments.

    As Amazon and others ramp up their Australian operations, who can doubt that it is only set to grow?

    Read the full report in the latest issue of Print21 magazine or read it online here.

    ‘The Australian parcel landscape is in the midst of great growth and disruption’: Stephen Darracott, Pitney Bowes ANZ.

  • Issue 977 – January 24, 2018

    Industrial action at Australian Paper’s envelope manufacturing plant at Preston in Victoria has started to hit major customers, according to the AMWU. If that proves to be the case, expect the parties to be back around the negotiating table in the near future.


    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the printing industry in Australia and New Zealand.


    Graham Osborne
    Online editor

  • Strike hits envelope supply at Australian Paper

    As industrial action at Australian Paper’s envelope-manufacturing facility in Melbourne enters its second week, union organisers say the company is quickly running out of envelopes.

    About 90 AMWU members at Australian Paper in Preston are on an indefinite stop work to protest against what they describe as management plans to strip their pay and conditions.

    Union organiser Dean Griffiths says the industrial action is beginning to hit the company’s customers. “We’ve heard from people inside the warehouse that they’re quickly running out of envelopes. Officeworks is running out of its premium line of envelopes and other customers are facing delays in getting their orders filled.” The company’s customers include major banks and government departments.

    The company has been contacted for comment. In a statement last week, Craig Dunn, Australian Paper’s general manager, communications, said: “The discussions between Australian Paper and our employees are ongoing and remain confidential. We have measures in place to meet the needs of customers during this phase of our discussions.”

    On the picket line at Preston.

    Griffiths says three workers out of 90 employed at the plant have crossed the picket line but the majority are holding firm because they don’t trust the company.

    “We’ve asked for modest increases of 2.5 percent over three years. The company has offered a four-year deal with zero per cent in the first year. They’re also looking to cut RDOs and change employee classifications.

    “We last heard from the company on Monday when they sent an email offering to negotiate outstanding issues but they say they won’t do so while industrial action is taking place. I know what this company is like because they’ve lied to us for five months. If they get us around the negotiating table they’ll just say ‘no’ to everything again. These guys on the picket line just don’t trust the company anymore.”

    Australian Paper, Australia’s only manufacturer of printing and packaging paper, is owned by Japanese giant Nippon Paper Industries, one of the ten largest companies in the global forest, paper and packaging industry.

    In its 2017 annual report, Nippon Paper president Fumio Manoshiro spoke of the need to transform the company’s business structure in the face of a continued fall in demand for paper.

    Fumio Manoshiro, president Nippon Paper Industries.

    Our steady progress in transforming our business structure was not enough to fully offset the slump in existing businesses. Even though earnings increased in comparison with the previous fiscal year, we fell short of the targets in the medium-term plan, which is very disappointing.

    Our tasks in FY2018/3 are clear: We must adjust prices, stabilize mill operations and further speed up the transformation of our business structure. We will continue to make every effort to realize these objectives.

    I also think it is important to make sure that our employees fully understand our Group Mission, which we formulated concurrently with this medium-term business plan.

    Production workers at the Australia Paper’s Maryvale paper mill last year agreed to take a five per cent pay cut in a bid to secure the future of the operation.