Canadian newspapers might be in decline, but they are still the largest source of journalism in this country.
Montreal Guild prepares for showdown at Gazette with Postmedia - Members of the Montreal Newspaper Guild (MNG) are steeling themselves to withstand any intimidation Postmedia might be planning as bargaining at The Gazette resumes. The company is seeking major concessions on pension, benefits, vacation and wages, but CWA Canada Local 30111 president Ron Carroll said he is “cautiously optimistic we can arrive at a fair and equitable contract.” In order to win those concessions in Ottawa, Postmedia threatened to lock out staff at The Citizen and Sun if they rejected an offer in a vote on Sept. 12. Debbie Cole, president of the 63-member Ottawa Newspaper Guild (CWA Canada Local 30205), said “Postmedia’s campaign of fear was successful.” Members voted 32-24 in favour of the deal, which will cost staff thousands of dollars in lost benefits. Carroll said the MNG has been presented “with much of the same intolerable concessions and then some, but our members are united and are resolute in not bowing to the greedy hedge-fund masters that control Postmedia.” The MNG was prepared to declare a strike if their Ottawa colleagues had been locked out so that both Locals would have the power of two to fight Postmedia’s demands rather than stand alone against their onslaught. At [...] Vote in favour of deal averts lockout in Ottawa - Members of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild (ONG) have voted 32-24 in favour of an offer from Postmedia. The result averts a lockout in Ottawa and an imminent strike in Montreal. “Postmedia’s campaign of fear was successful,” said ONG President Debbie Cole. “Although many of us, 24 of us, believed their lockout threat was just a scare tactic, the majority of our membership believed it.” Postmedia had threatened to lock out the 63 members of the ONG (CWA Canada Local 30205) who work at The Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun as of midnight if the deal had been rejected at the conclusion of voting today. “The members have spoken,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “It’s clear that the company’s threat of a lockout influenced the result. I think most people wanted to vote No, but in the end, they decided they’d rather take a bad contract than face being out on the street and that must be respected.” The focus now turns to The Gazette, where 58 staff represented by the Montreal Newspaper Guild (CWA Canada Local 30111) are in a legal position to strike if the company does not present a better offer. The MNG would have called an [...] Postmedia’s lockout deadline extended as vote begins in Ottawa - Members of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild began voting Sunday under threat of a mid-week lockout if they reject the “lousy deal” offered by Postmedia. The company extended the lockout deadline to 12:01 a.m. Thursday to allow time for all members to vote. Lois Kirkup, vice-president of the ONG (CWA Canada Local 30205), said the 63 members who work at The Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun are feeling “bullied” by the company’s tactics. She said many staff — who work in the newsroom, reader sales and service, financial service, in-house printing and building maintenance — are either angry or scared. “My members are angry and scared, as they should be. And that was their tactic, to scare people into voting for a really lousy deal.” After almost three years of bargaining, during which time Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey was handed a 33-per-cent salary increase and bonuses, the company is determined to wrest major concessions from the Ottawa workers who haven’t had a pay increase for six years. The Guild had already made concessions on the pension plan, saving Postmedia millions of dollars. The company is demanding further concessions on health benefits and sick leave that could cost ONG members thousands of [...] Here are all the people who left Postmedia this summer - In June, Postmedia announced a restructuring plan that included 10-per-cent cut in salary expenses. H.G. WATSON | J-Source [~] There has been a steady stream of departures from Postmedia over the summer months. In late June, the company announced that it was going to cut its salary expenses by approximately 10 per cent through voluntary buyouts and layoffs by the end of August. “We are doing this so that those who find the pace of change and dramatic transformation difficult can choose to leave the organization,” wrote Paul Godfrey, executive chairman and CEO, and Andrew MacLeod, president and chief operating officer, in a memo that was sent to staff on June 26. The cuts were part of a restructuring that saw six newspapers closed and four papers shutter their print publications. Phyllise Gelfand, Postmedia’s spokesperson, told J-Source that there had been a “number of departures” through their voluntary buyout program, but they had no specific numbers of people who had taken them at this time. Martin O’Hanlon, the president of CWA Canada, a union which represent a number of Postmedia newsrooms including The Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette and the Regina Leader-Post, said in an email to J-Source that there was [...] Postmedia threatens lockout on eve of Ottawa vote; could trigger strike in Montreal - CWA Canada members in Ottawa and Montreal could be on picket lines as early as Monday if Postmedia locks out workers in the nation’s capital. A lockout at the Ottawa Citizen and Sun would trigger an immediate strike at The Gazette in Montreal. A Postmedia official told the 63 members of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild (Local 30205), who are to begin voting Sunday, they would be locked out at 12:01 a.m. Monday if they reject the company’s “final” contract offer. Lois Kirkup, ONG vice-president, said the vote had been scheduled to take place Sept. 9-12, to allow more members to participate. The union has asked the company to extend its lockout deadline. “None of my members want a labour dispute, but what we do want is a fair contract,” said Kirkup (who is also Vice-President of CWA Canada). The Montreal Newspaper Guild (Local 30111), which is also in a legal strike-lockout position and had forged a common front with fellow members in Ottawa, “will declare a strike in response to a lockout as we can expect the same treatment,” said President Ron Carroll. “Postmedia cries poor despite paying millions in bonuses to their top executives. Not to mention the company [...]
Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada
18.04.12 Ottawa Business Journal – Postmedia Q2 loss falls as cost cutting, tax credit offset lower revenue
18.04.02 The Canadian Press – Torstar hiring 20 reporters as it revamps Metro urban dailies
18.03.20 CAJ.ca – Pelham town officials cannot ignore local journalists
18.03.17 Denver Newspaper Guild – A Great State Deserves a Great Newspaper
18.03.15 The Colorado Independent – Littwin: Denver Post owners are not just laying off employees, they’re looting the public trust
18.03.15 The Washington Post – Is this strip-mining or journalism? ‘Sobs, gasps, expletives’ over latest Denver Post layoffs
18.03.14 The Voice – Town of Pelham cuts off communication with Voice of Pelham
18.03.12 CBC News – Competition Bureau searches Postmedia and Torstar offices in probe of newspaper deal
18.03.11 Toronto Star – Serious journalism is vital to healthy democracy and requires support
18.03.04 John Longhurst – Turning Newspapers Into Charities: A New Model for the Future?
18.03.02 iPolitics – Saving Canadian news media: Senate considers solutions for journalism, local news
18.03.01 Editor & Publisher – 10 Newspapers That Do It Right
18.02.28 NewsGuild-CWA – Journalists of Casper Star-Tribune make history; continue inspiring national trend
18.02.28 The Globe and Mail – Budget media provisions disappointing, industry says
18.02.28 Columbia Journalism Review – Canada pledges $50 million to local journalism. Will it help?
18.02.27 iPolitics.ca – Federal budget opens door to non-profit media models
18.02.27 iPolitics.ca – Government prolongs the agony for newspapers … just a bit
18.02.26 TheTyee.ca – The Case of Cox vs. Coyne / As publishers squabble with journalists over government subsidies, why should the public support financial assistance?
18.02.14 National Post – Andrew Coyne: Newspaper owners shamelessly pleading for cash only make bailouts look worse
18.02.13 J-Source.ca – Toronto Star putting internship programs on indefinite hiatus
18.02.09 J-Source.ca – A study in news poverty in Thunder Bay
18.02.02 Ryerson Journalism Research Centre – New survey investigates state of smaller-market newspapers in Canada
18.01.28 The Globe and Mail – Most Canadians support government funding for local media, poll finds
18.01.26 Toronto Star – John Honderich: We should all be very concerned by the crisis facing quality journalism
18.01.19 NewsGuild-CWA – L.A. Times workers vote overwhelmingly for union
18.01.16 The Conversation – Supreme Court ruling makes need for Competition Act reform urgent
17.12.10 The Globe and Mail – The Last Edition: The stories that go untold when a small town loses its newspaper
17.11.28 Globe and Mail – Our local newspapers didn’t have to die
17.10.17 Politico – What if the newspaper industry made a colossal mistake?