The journos’ union has hit back at an email attack from the company’s senior executives, circulating a tongue-in-cheek screed titled “so what has the union ever done for us?” to mock their corporate taskmasters.

On Tuesday afternoon, Fairfax executives Jack Matthews and Garry Linnell dispatched an email warning their own hacks not to “intimidate” or “harass” colleagues who chose to work rather than strike in support of 66 sacked sub-editors from Illawarra Mercury and the Newcastle Herald.

But the heavily unionised Age newsroom hasn’t copped the critique lying down. Crikey has obtained an internal Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance missive, that urges the grassroots upsurge to continue unabated.

“There seems to have been some suggestion since the events of last week that it is not the done thing at Fairfax for people to talk to their colleagues about joining the union. Nor surprisingly, we beg to differ,” the union writes.

“For example, it would entirely appropriate to remind people that, when they see their pay go up in a few weeks time, it’s not because Fairfax just felt like it. It’s because union members fought for and won it.”

Meanwhile, Melbourne-based guerrilla satirists The Nose have reported last Thursday’s wildcat action as a strange hard news story causing much mirth inside The Age‘s Collins Street HQ.

In The Nose piece, headlined “Fairfax staff strike against Kiwi jobs” a picture (not) of Michelle Grattan protesting appears alongside a report saying The Age had replaced its entire newsroom with “refugee ring-ins”.

“After a night of hasty negotiations, the paper has struck a deal with the Federal Government to import scab journalists on temporary 457 visas,” it mourns. The paper’s new sports editor is Hassan, a former Kabul slum dweller.

And Fairfax columnists are also in the firing line. Recently-axed Good Weekend columnist Mark Dapin’s duties are assumed by an “illiterate Kurdish sheep herder” while Marieke Hardy is “replaced by her Filipino lookalike, Manila transexual Inocencia Corazon.”

Crikey will have more news from the Fairfax barricades as it comes to hand.

Read The Nose’s story:

The MEAA message: