Cuts at the Chronicle Herald caused workers to picket yesterday, as the union explores filing an unfair labour practice complaint against management.
At the beginning of February the Herald announced it would cut 24 jobs, or about one-quarter of its newsroom, to slash $1.5 million from the budget. The Herald has been hurt by declining ad revenue.
The union said it has offered several compromises to save jobs, but management has refused to work with them. Monday they staged an information picket outside the newspaper’s offices.
“We’ve tried to keep it in-house, but it’s too late for that now. This is shaping up to be the worst week in the history of the Chronicle Herald,” said union president Peter Duffy.
“Each concession we’ve agreed to make has been met with ‘no, no,’ or ‘but…’ It’s to the point where we don’t think they’re hearing us anymore.”
The union said it could save six jobs through measures like increased payment into pensions and a week of unpaid leave. Duffy said 10 employees have taken buyouts.
The union is also exploring legal avenues, and is alleging the company unfairly targeted only unionized employees in its cuts. No managers were cut in the recent layoffs.
Dan Leger, director of news content for the Herald, did not return calls by deadline. However he denied to CTV News that management was acting unfairly.
“Well, the recommendations had to actually have the effect of saving money. They couldn’t be recommendations for the company to spend more money,” said Leger.
“We have a collective agreement in place with the union that sets out a rulebook, which we are following religiously every step of the way.”