Vancouver—Robust profits at Pacific Newspaper Group (PNG), a division of Postmedia, mean that lay-offs announced this week are unnecessary and will undermine journalism in British Columbia, says Unifor.
“There’s no reason for aggressive job cuts that will further damage the quality of professional journalism that British Columbians rely on,” said Brian Gibson, Unifor Local 2000 president.
On Friday, Postmedia announced it’s anticipating 54 layoffs. When combined with the last round of 38 buyouts in January, this would reduce the entire staff by 42 per cent. The union was expecting Postmedia to announce more layoffs and has a plan in place to challenge these aggressive cuts. The union will be in touch with members about the legal strategy and options moving forward.
Unifor Local 2000 is BC’s media union, represents 800 members mostly in the media sector but also Purdy’s Chocolates. This includes staff working in Advertising, IT, Editorial and Reader Sales & Service at the Vancouver Sunand The Province. The union says that if staffing costs are a priority for PNG, they should look at executive salaries and bonuses.
“We’ve received no explanation as to why $2.3-million has been paid out in executive bonuses while hard-working staff are being shown the door,” said Gibson.
Unifor says that PNG has options for buying out senior unionized staff, but the latest round of lay-offs try to skirt the collective agreement and will ultimately face legal challenges from the union.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
For more information, please contact Brian Gibson at 604-408-0746.