Canadian newspapers might be in decline, but they are still the largest source of journalism in this country.
Heritage minister tells media union leaders he’s committed to helping news industry - Two media union leaders received assurances today from Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault that he will do what he can to help the news industry weather a financial crisis worsened by the pandemic. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon and Kim Trynacity, president of the CBC branch of the union’s largest Local, the Canadian Media Guild, laid out the case for urgent funding for news companies and special help for the public broadcaster in a 40-minute Zoom meeting. “It was a pleasure speaking with Minister Guilbeault. He fully understands the crisis facing the news industry and has committed to doing all he can to help,” O’Hanlon said. “We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the minister, to seeing funds begin to flow to news companies this summer, action to address precarious workers and greater diversity at the CBC, and legislation to make Facebook and Google share advertising revenue with Canadian content providers.” O’Hanlon said Guilbeault was asked to speed up access to the $595-million journalism support fund because “we desperately need money to begin flowing to news companies this summer to avert more layoffs and cost-cutting.” O’Hanlon said he also told the minister “we need specific, quick help for The Canadian Press, especially during the pandemic, given its [...] CWA Canada: Blaming unions for Postmedia job cuts ‘dishonest’ - Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod was “being misleading at best” when he blamed unions for the latest round of staff cuts, CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon says. In a memo to staff today, MacLeod said the company is going to cut 40 positions from its unionized ranks after CWA Canada and Unifor rejected a management proposal that workers earning over $60,000 a year take a temporary five-per-cent salary reduction. “Unfortunately … we were unable to find mutually agreeable common ground on alternative cost reduction measures,” MacLeod wrote. But O’Hanlon disputed MacLeod’s claims: “The company never really tried to negotiate with us in good faith. They presented the wage cut as the only option and they ignored our offer to buy ads to help support the company. We might also have been able to work out a job-saving arrangement like some of our Locals did.” The temporary wage cut would have saved about $100,000 from the CWA Canada members who earn over $60,000 at nine Postmedia newspapers. “We offered instead to buy $100,000 in ads in return for a two-year, no-layoff guarantee,” O’Hanlon said. “They never even had the decency to respond. So to try to blame the union is pretty disingenuous.” [...] CWA Canada, IFJ urge Trudeau to make tech giants share ad revenue - CWA Canada and the world’s largest journalist organization are appealing directly to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make tech giants such as Facebook and Google share advertising revenues with news outlets in this country. Martin O’Hanlon, writing on the behalf of both the media union he leads and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), says in a letter sent today that the two companies “control over 80 per cent of Canada’s $6-billion online advertising market, yet they pay no taxes and they pay nothing for the content they use.” “For far too long, they have been earning money by linking to stories from Canadian news companies without compensation. It is simply not fair. They should be paying for copyrighted content.” What’s even more troubling, writes O’Hanlon, is the fact that “as these companies have raked in tens of billions of dollars over the years, thousands of Canadian media workers have been laid off and hundreds of Canadian publications have closed. It’s bad for journalism, bad for communities, and bad for our democracy.” “We call on your government to follow the lead of Australia and France, which are set to make digital companies pay for content use,” says the letter. The [...] Media union Locals reject Postmedia pay cuts - Leaders of CWA Canada Locals at nine Postmedia dailies have rejected a company proposal for a temporary wage cut, saying they have “sacrificed enough.” They held a conference call Tuesday night to discuss Postmedia’s request to reduce salaries by five per cent for unionized staff earning $60,000 or more. The 281 media union members cannot be forced to take a pay reduction as it would be a violation of their collective agreements. Local leaders at Postmedia papers in Montreal, Ottawa, Windsor, Kingston, North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, and Regina, gave several reasons for rejecting a salary reduction: “Our members have sacrificed enough, with little or no wage increase while the company has funnelled tens of millions of dollars to its hedge fund owner / lenders each year, and millions more to executives,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. The company’s owner / lenders, Chatham and Canso, are not cutting interest rates or forgiving any debt. They may agree to defer interest for a few months, but they will get all their money. “Why should our members give up part of their modest wage when these rich companies don’t sacrifice?” O’Hanlon asked. “Even after temporarily giving up 30 per cent [...] Postmedia pay cut would be ‘tough sell’ for unions - Leaders of CWA Canada Locals at newspapers in three provinces will hold a conference call tonight to decide their response to Postmedia’s moves to cut labour costs during the public health crisis. The company announced today that it will lay off 50 sales people, temporarily cut pay for employees, and permanently close 15 of its 95 community newspapers. The cuts do not affect any of the media union’s 281 members who work at nine of Postmedia’s 15 daily newspapers. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said there was a significant error in the announcement by Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod. “He stated that all employees earning over $60,000 will be subject to a temporary pay reduction. In fact, unionized staff cannot be forced to take a pay reduction; that would have to be agreed to by the union,” O’Hanlon said. “We will discuss the company’s statement and its request for a five-per-cent temporary pay cut. But it’s a tough sell given that Postmedia has been funnelling tens of millions of dollars to its hedge fund owners and paying millions in executive salaries and bonuses. Last year alone, it paid its top five executives a whopping $7.4 million while laying off staff and freezing worker salaries.” CWA [...]
Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada
19.03.12 Marc Edge | J-Source – How to fix Canada’s biggest media problem in one easy step
19.03.08 J-Source – Changes come to one of Atlantic Canada’s largest media companies
19.03.07 J-Source – A fourth-generation newspaper rides the waves of change
19.02.08 CanadaLand – Postmedia’s deep ties with the company Jeff Bezos has accused of extortion
19.01.26 Slate – The Crisis Facing American Journalism Did Not Start With the Internet
18.12.31 The Atlantic – The media’s post-advertising future is also its past
18.12.19 Policy Options – Funding for Canadian media: The who, why and how
18.12.13 National Observer – Press council comes down on Toronto Sun for ‘serious breach’ after false report about goats
18.12.11 National Public Radio – Local newspaper closures come with hefty price tag for residents
18.12.10 Toronto Star – Journalism too important to go the way of the video store
18.12.06 Media in Canada – Postmedia reduces print schedule for Northern papers
18.12.05 J-Source – Can digital journalism serve readers who can’t get online?
18.12.04 The Tyee – More fuel for investigation into Torstar, Postmedia newspaper swap
18.12.02 The Conversation – Nonprofit news: Lessons from south of the border
18.11.28 Halifax Examiner – Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey was paid $5 million in 2018, but says his company is so broke it needs public subsidies
18.11.23 National Post – Andrew Coyne: Liberals’ $600M aid package for news media will irrevocably politicize the press
18.11.23 The Globe and Mail – My small-town newspaper died a year ago. The community has been grieving ever since
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?