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Jobs lost in printing acquisition

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More than 75 print workers have lost their jobs following the sale of Canberra's Blue Star Australia business.

Last month, the OPUS Group announced to the Australian Securities Exchange that it had acquired the sheet-fed and digital business in Sheppard Street, Hume.

Workers at the site were told on Thursday their jobs would go as part of the deal, with only about 15 jobs being integrated into the newly combined business, which will operate under the existing CanPrint Communications brand.

An OPUS Group spokesperson declined to comment on the job losses.

CanPrint is a large provider of federal government print and content services.

Blue Star's public service contracts have previously included the Department of Treasury and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


Frank Madaffari, a night shift supervisor who has worked for Blue Star for 24 years, said workers were shocked and disappointed at the outcome.

Night shift workers were asked to attend meetings with company representatives on Thursday afternoon.

''We thought we were going to be totally supported by Blue Star all together, only to be robbed of our own jobs inside the company,'' Mr Madaffari said. ''They basically sold us to close us down.''

He said workers were told in recent days they would receive their full entitlements and were provided with advice from human resources staff before leaving the site on Thursday.

''It's not going to be pretty for the workers out there. The industry is on its knees and I seriously doubt many of us will be able to find work again quickly.''

The move is an expansion of existing OPUS operations in Canberra, adding to other facilities in Sydney and Maryborough.

Printing industry sources expressed frustration with further job losses in Canberra, coming just weeks after Blue Star acquired parts of failed competitor Geon's operations in Australia. Blue Star employed about 150 former Geon workers.

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