Category Archives: Postmedia

Memo-Postmedia Strikes 316m Deal to Buy Sun Media English Papers

Source: jpress.journalism.ryerson.ca

 

Associate Editor Tamara Baluja has obtained memos sent by Postmedia Network and Sun Media to their respective employees.

CEO Paul Godfrey notes that Postmedia Network has agreed to buy 175 English language publications from Sun Media. 

Today we announced perhaps the biggest news in the Canadian news media industry since the day Postmedia was formed. Our company has entered into an agreement with Quebecor Inc. to purchase all of Sun Media’s English language publications and associated digital properties. That’s 175 daily newspapers, community weeklies, trade publications, magazines and related digital properties from 5 provinces across Canada.

Read entire story here

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Kennedy Heights closure agreement approved

Local 2000 members who work for PNG at Kennedy Heights have voted 135 to 47 in favour of accepting Postmedia’s latest offer for severance and other matters related to the closure of the printing plant. There was one spoiled ballot.
About 74 percent of the members who cast ballots voted yes to the closure agreement that includes a severance package of $17.5 million. Members had previously turned down a package of $16 million.
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Postmedia and union talks break down over contracting out of printing

Source: thetyee.ca

Talks between the company that publishes the Vancouver Sun and Province and the union that represents their workers broke down after two days of negotiations earlier this month over contracting out of the printing of both newspapers.

That increases the likelihood of a labour dispute in a year’s time over Pacific Newspaper Group’s plan to have outside companies handle the printing.

“They can lock us out or we can go on strike,” said Unifor Local 2000 vice-president Gary Engler. “Of course, we have the right to picket and all of those sorts of things.”

Postmedia Network recently announced it will sell the Surrey property where its printing plant is located and either contract out the printing or build a new plant that would require fewer workers. The company imposed a Nov. 18 deadline for an agreement to be reached on staffing levels for a new plant, but a Unifor release called the company’s demands “too extreme” for the union to accept.

“Among other conditions, the company insists on the right to choose from among our current members as to who would be able to work at a new plant,” it stated. “It was estimated that only about one-quarter of our current Kennedy Heights members would be asked to work at the new facility.”

The union also claims the company offered far less severance pay for displaced press operators than it has offered its editorial and business staff under a Voluntary Staff Reduction Plan.

The collective agreement between Unifor and Postmedia’s subsidiary Pacific Newspaper Group expires on Nov. 30, 2014. Engler said the company suggested more talks in January, but the Unifor release called agreement “highly unlikely.” PNG announced it has already contracted with Transcontinental Printing to handle printing in the event that agreement cannot be reached with Unifor on staffing levels for a new plant.

Engler said the recent talks revealed that only the Sun would be printed at Transcontinental’s plant on Annacis Island, however, with another printing company handling the Province. The current collective agreement prevents contracting out, and its provisions would be extended under the B.C. Labour Code in the event of a strike or lockout.

“We know where the printing is going,” noted Engler. “Transcontinental is unionized as well. Where the Province is going is a non-union plant.”

Meanwhile, another large U.S. hedge fund has acquired a major ownership interest in Postmedia. Silver Point Capital recently bought a 19 per cent stake in the company, which makes it the second largest owner of Postmedia behind New York-based GoldenTree Asset Management, which owns about 35 per cent.

Canada’s largest chain of dailies, which was founded in the 19 century by the Southam family, was bought out of the bankruptcy of Canwest Global Communications in 2010 by a group of its creditors, with financial backing from several U.S. hedge funds.

Vancouver journalist Marc Edge is a frequent contributor to The Tyee.

– See more at: http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/11/26/Postmedia-Union-Talks/#sthash.4D7Zafpj.dpuf

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Postmedia to close Kennedy Heights plant

Source: mediaunion.ca

The Kennedy Heights printing plant will be put up for sale immediately and operations there will cease sometime in 2015, the union was told today by Paul Godfrey, CEO of Postmedia.

The company presented two possible options going forward. One is contracting out the work currently done at Kennedy Heights. The company has “entered into a contract with Transcontinental” to print papers effective early 2015, Godfrey told Local 2000 representatives.

The other option is the union and company reaching an agreement to open a new plant that would cost substantially less to operate than Kennedy Heights. Godfrey explained that the contract between Postmedia and Transcontinental will not go into effect if the company and union reach a deal before Nov. 18, 2013 that reduces costs at a new plant by 70-75 percent.

Our current contract language says “there will be no involuntary loss of employment of any regular employee during the life of the contract as a result of” contracting out.

Union officers will be consulting with our legal counsel and meeting with members to discuss our next steps.

The company said it was hoping to have further discussions soon.

Postmedia also announced today that it is selling the Calgary Herald building and land and will be contracting out printing beginning in November.

 

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Postmedia drops publishers

Source: theglobeandmail.com

Postmedia Network Inc. is trying to stanch losses by eliminating the publisher position at its chain of 10 newspapers, which includes the National Post, the Montreal Gazette, and the Ottawa Citizen.

A staff memo issued Tuesday afternoon by Paul Godfrey, Postmedia’s president and chief executive officer, said the company’s business operations are being reorganized into three regions, with all editorial functions overseen by the senior vice-president of content, Lou Clancy.
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Postmedia loss deepens

Source: theglobeandmail.com

Losses deepened at Postmedia Network Canada Corp. in the last quarter, as national and classified advertising in its newspapers continued to decline.

The publisher –which owns such big-city metros such as the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette and Calgary Herald in addition to the National Post – said it lost $14.2-million in its second quarter, compared with $11.1-million a year ago.

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Tentative deal at PNG

Source: mediaunion.ca

A tentative four-year deal has been reached between Local 2000 and Pacific News Group covering all unionized employees of the Sun and Province newspapers.

“This was a very hard round of bargaining because of the difficult financial condition of the company and the troubled state of the newspaper industry,” said Local President Mike Bocking. “The agreement reached is the best possible under the circumstances.”

There will be no wage increase in the first three years of the contract, which expired Nov. 30, 2010, and a 1% raise on Dec. 1, 2013.

Complete details of the agreement will be released at chapel meetings Thursday and at an information meeting Sunday, July 22, 11 a.m. at the Metrotown Hilton hotel. Voting will follow immediately after the meeting.

Final details on voting will be announced tomorrow.

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