Newspaper Industry

Canadian newspapers might be in decline, but they are still the largest source of journalism in this country.

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Board hearing on National Post union vote set for Oct. 11 - TORONTO – A majority of newsroom staff at the National Post have voted to join media union CWA Canada, but the final vote result will have to wait until after a hearing is held Oct. 11 on a number of challenged ballots. The Ontario Labour Relations Board reported today that 31 of 59 newsroom staff voted to join the union. That is a clear majority and enough to certify the union, but the board must first rule on the inclusion of a number of challenged ballots that have not been counted. “In the bargaining unit that we defined, there is a clear majority support for the union,” the newsroom employee committee said. “The company added a few names to the employee list — which then became the voters list — that we believe are not part of the unit. These few ballots have not yet been counted and were kept aside as ‘challenged.’ The union is submitting arguments to the labour board this week about why we think these additional names should not be in the union. If we succeed, these ballots will not be counted and the vote will stand.” The vote was held Sept. 29 after a solid [...]
National Post newsroom staff file to unionize - TORONTO — Newsroom staff at the National Post have officially filed for union certification after a strong majority of workers signed union cards. CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, filed today with the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Under Ontario law, the board will organize a vote within the next week. “We’re unionizing because we love this newspaper,” the newsroom union committee said. “We want the Post and its newsroom staff to have long, bright futures.” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon, a veteran journalist, said the union drive is about protecting quality jobs and journalism – and about fundamental fairness. He said Postmedia should be investing in the paper and its employees rather than destroying itself by squandering profits and ravaging assets to feed its hedge fund and other lenders. Most National Post staff have not received a pay raise in a decade and now Postmedia is slashing pensions and benefits while paying millions in executive bonuses and tens of millions to its lenders. “If this was a matter of helping the company survive, most would be happy to do their part and share the pain, but Postmedia reported a profit in its most recent financial statement,” O’Hanlon said. “It’s [...]
Union drive at National Post a ‘hell-freezes-over moment’ - DEBORAH RICHMOND | Web Editor An organizing drive is under way at the National Post, where editorial staff are seeking protection from Postmedia’s severe austerity measures and possible bankruptcy. Several employees at the newspaper have formed a committee and are working with CWA Canada organizer Katherine Lapointe to encourage their colleagues to sign a confidential union card pledging their support. They went public today, issuing a news release and revealing a website: “This may seem like an unusual step for National Post employees. Some might even consider this a hell-freezes-over moment. But NP editorial staff have no other realistic option. We need a union. Logic and common sense demands it,” the committee said in a message emailed Sept. 1 to fellow workers. “There are some strong emotions behind our union drive. Many National Post editorial staffers — award-winning reporters, editors, designers, photographers, videographers and producers who are among the finest media professionals in the country — are angry they’re being forced to take pay cuts while Postmedia executives … are collecting bonuses. (In November 2016, Postmedia reported that almost $2.3 million in retention bonuses would be paid to its five most senior employees. Three of them have since departed [...]
CBC poster How the CBC Can Save News in Canada - 2017.08.29 PETER MENZIES | Troy Media Sometime in the not-too-distant future, the nation’s largest media chain is expected to fail, taking many of the nation’s once proud but now emaciated major daily newspapers to the grave with it. Postmedia and others have already issued appeals to the federal government, just as television broadcasters have, with more success, lobbied the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for relief for close to a decade now. The debate over whether their demise is suicide by incompetence or murder by technology no longer matters. And while some, such as columnist Andrew Coyne, still insist that journalists should never be compromised by the subtle fealty induced by government subsidy, principles are unlikely to survive the industry’s poverty. There is a strong argument — one reinforced by the problematic nature of Postmedia’s structure — in favour of letting nature take its course. But governments don’t do that when you’re too big to fail. So if something is to be done, here’s the solution. Read the whole story at The Tyee
Unions at 5 Postmedia papers unite against draconian contract cuts - Leaders of CWA Canada and Unifor Locals at five newspapers that are bargaining new contracts with Postmedia have vowed to stand united against the company’s concession proposals. Postmedia wants unionized employees to accept draconian measures it imposed earlier this year on non-union staff. The company wants to freeze the Postmedia defined-benefit pension plan, slash its pension contribution to 3.0 per cent, reduce medical benefits, eliminate retiree benefits, and cut vacation entitlement, among other things. In a letter to members in Kingston, Montreal, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, and Windsor, CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said they need to understand why the company is going after their hard-won gains. “If this was a matter of helping the company survive, we would be happy to do our part and share the pain. But this is not about the survival of the company,” said O’Hanlon. “Postmedia papers are making money and the parent company reported a profit in its most recent financial statement. “This is about the company taking money away from you and your family to feed its predatory lenders and line the pockets of executives.” O’Hanlon said the unions “will take this message to the company and resume negotiations until new contracts are reached.” [...]

Link to the full Newspaper Industry news archive on CWA Canada

Offsite Insight

17.09.14 The Tyee – A Day in the Life of Union-Bashing National Post
17.08.21 – Print distribution of The Globe and Mail coming to an end in Atlantic provinces
17.06.26 Canadaland – The Great Newspaper Bailout
17.06.20 Ryerson JRC – When rural newspapers fall prey to predatory ownership, local content goes fast
17.06.20 John Miller/ – Government subsidies for reporters are a really bad idea
17.06.16 Financial Post – Newspaper publishers ask Ottawa for $350 million a year to save print journalism
17.06.06 Toronto Star – John Honderich, Andrew Coyne debate if government should step in to save journalism
17.06.05 J-Source – Coverage of the Local News conference at Ryerson University in Toronto June 3-4
17.03.10 Financial Post – Postmedia announces 54 layoffs at Vancouver Sun and Province subsidiary
17.03.09 Poynter – After punishing layoffs, New Jersey journalists start up their own local newspaper
17.03.06 Editor & Publisher – The Canadian newspaper industry is getting a new jolt of life
17.03.04 Globe and Mail – Torstar turns to a marketing guru as its new CEO
17.02.23 Globe and Mail – In the age of ‘fake news,’ media outlets turn to advertising to tout the importance of journalism
17.02.22 NewsGuild – Digital First Media workers launch campaign to fight attacks on journalism
17.02.10 Marc Edge – The Shattered Mirror just broke into a million pieces
17.02.07 HuffPo Canada – Liberals won’t bail out Canada’s news industry, sources say
17.01.27 Globe and Mail – How to fix the ever-weakening state of the news media
17.01.26 Toronto Star – Media cuts are a threat to Canadian democracy, new report warns
17.01.25 The Canadian Press – Report to offer ‘ideas’ for stemming crisis in Canada’s media sector: author
17.01.23 Policy Options – Canada’s local news ‘poverty’
17.01.13 Bloomberg TV – Postmedia CEO: Newspapers are worth trying to save

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