The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has joined the attack against Fairfax Media over its plan to axe 1,900 jobs.
Along with five unions representing Fairfax workers, the ACTU will tell a Fair Work Australia hearing today that the company has breached its legal obligation to consult workers on the changes.
Fairfax's rival News Limited announced changes of its own yesterday, but committed to talking to unions before cutting any jobs.
That commitment drew praise from ACTU secretary Dave Oliver.
"News has indicated that they'll be fully transparent and engage the workers and the unions along the way, so we welcome that," he said.
"As opposed to Fairfax - no consultation and an announcement made to the employees without any prior notice whatsoever." Unions representing Fairfax workers will voice their displeasure today at a hearing of Fair Work Australia.
"The company has obligations under their collective agreements to consult where there is major change," Mr Oliver said.
"We don't believe they've met their obligations." It is mooted that the News plan may result in the axing of 1,000 or more jobs.
Mr Oliver said unions have written to Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy but had not raised the prospect of government financial assistance to protect jobs, as had been done in manufacturing industry.
"It comes under manufacturing in some respects so we haven't had the opportunity to talk with the company to find out what could be done to mitigate the impact of the job losses," Mr Oliver said.