Category Archives: Negotiations

Complaints withdrawn in Halifax dispute; talks to resume

The Halifax Typographical Union and The Chronicle Herald have both withdrawn unfair labour practice complaints related to the year-long work stoppage at the newspaper.

The union that represents 55 striking newsroom workers withdrew its complaint today after the Herald agreed to back away from its bad faith bargaining positions.

“With the Herald changing its position, we have gained everything that we had hoped to achieve through the labour board hearing,” said Ingrid Bulmer, president of the CWA Canada Local. “The hearing became unnecessary.”

The hearing before the Nova Scotia Labour Board was scheduled to begin Monday and continue throughout the entire week.

“We withdrew the complaint to engender bargaining,” Bulmer said. “If the company goes back to its unfair bargaining practices, we reserve the right to refile the complaint.”

The Herald also withdrew its complaint about alleged disclosure of confidential information.

“The Herald accusation did not have any merit and was filed only in retaliation to our complaint,” Bulmer said.

The two sides will return to the bargaining table Tuesday. Bulmer said recent bargaining had been positive and she hopes that continued progress will lead to a deal in the near furture.

– See more at: http://www.cwa-scacanada.ca/EN/releases/170131_ulp_hold.shtml#sthash.QLM3lcxU.dpuf

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News Leader Pictorial staff on strike in Duncan

Source: cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Twelve employees at the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial newspaper in Duncan took to the picket lines on Monday in a dispute over proposed changes to their pay structure.

The strike is about blocking the implementation of a two-tier wage system by management, said Unifor Local 2000 representative Peter McQuade.

Right now, employees’ wages increase over time through a classification system. Management is trying to eliminate the top wage classifications for any new employees coming in, McQuade said.

Employees voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action.

McQuade said it was possible the paper would not be able to put out an edition for Wednesday. He had no indication when the strike might be over.

Calls to the News Leader Pictorial’s editor and publisher were not returned Monday morning.

– See more at: http://www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com/news/news-leader-pictorial-staff-on-strike-in-duncan-1.1632965#sthash.QdORmcda.dpuf

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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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