Members of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) support their colleagues who launched a strike at the Chronicle-Herald this weekend after unproductive talks with the newspaper’s management. The workers are striking over unreasonable company demands, including wage cuts, longer hours, end to current pension plan, gutting of the union contract, and potential job losses.
CMG, which includes members at The Canadian Press and Pagemasters, is also troubled by the timing of a four-month contract, between the Chronicle-Herald and Pagemasters to manage online posts for the paper. The CMG was informed that the contract was to begin this week, during the same period that the Herald staff are on strike.
“Media workers in Canada understand that the newspaper sector is struggling,” says Carmel Smyth, national president of the CMG. “But it’s extremely disappointing the current Herald management has forced a strike rather than continue a tradition of negotiating fairly. And the fact the Herald is contracting out work to Toronto during a strike shows a lack of respect for its workers.”
The independent daily newspaper has been profitable and has a long tradition of respect and journalistic excellence. CMG members are providing support to their colleagues on the picket line.
“Chronicle-Herald management has taken a divisive approach with media workers in this dispute by encouraging others, including freelancers, to replace striking workers,” says Terry Pedwell, president of the Canadian Press/Pagemasters branch of the CMG. “Enough is enough. Stop using other workers as pawns and go back to the bargaining table and negotiate fairly with your employees.”