Postmedia must rescind layoffs, use exec bonuses to save jobs

2017.01.24 | NEWS RELEASE

Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey

OTTAWA  – CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, is demanding that Postmedia rescind today’s layoff notices along with the big bonuses it paid top executives and use the money to save jobs.

Postmedia has begun serving notice of layoff, including nine positions at The Gazette in Montreal and six at The Ottawa Citizen. The layoffs, combined with recent buyouts, will cut the company’s workforce by about 20 per cent – on top of the 50-per-cent cut in previous years.

CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon noted that the $2.3 million in “retention” bonuses paid to company CEO Paul Godfrey and his cronies could save up to 40 jobs.

“Where do you think the money is better spent?” O’Hanlon asked. “On bonuses for overpaid, under-performing executives or on hard-working employees who actually produce something and contribute to the economy?

“If these jobs are cut, it will be yet another blow to journalism and to the local communities where these workers spend their salaries. If the bonuses are rescinded, it just means Godfrey may not be able to upgrade his BMW.”

Under Godfrey, his team, and the predatory hedge fund lenders who keep them in their pockets, Postmedia has been in a long freefall. The newspaper chain is collapsing, communities are being hurt and journalism is in steep decline. In all, Postmedia has cut more than 3,000 jobs in the last six years.

“Only a fool would believe that doing the same thing over and over will produce a different result,” O’Hanlon said. “It’s long past time to stop destroying the company with these cuts and invest in a quality product.”

CWA Canada is calling on the federal government to take action before it’s too late to prevent Postmedia from destroying the country’s major daily newspapers. The union is urging legislation or regulations to limit concentration of media ownership and prevent destructive leveraged purchases of important national companies.

CWA Canada represents about 6,000 media workers at companies across the country, including the CBC, The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters, and many Postmedia publications.

For more information, contact:
Martin O’Hanlon
President, CWA Canada
(613) 867-5090

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