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Herald Refuses to Return to Bargaining, Won’t Budge from Drastic Demands

by Halifax Typographical Union

The Chronicle Herald has rejected an overture from its striking newsroom staff to return to the bargaining table.

"It appears the Herald has a short-term plan or strategy in place that does not include professional newsroom reporters, photographers, editors and support staff going back to work anytime soon," said Ingrid Bulmer, president of the Halifax Typographical Union, which represents the 59 striking employees.

The union reached out to the company through the conciliator who has been dealing with the seven-week-old dispute. The company brushed off conciliator Peter Lloyd's approach, saying it didn’t feel the union was ready to make "necessary" concessions.

Before launching a defensive strike action Jan. 23, the union offered concessions to the tune of a five per cent wage cut, a cap on severance pay, reduced mileage rates and fewer vacation days. But the Herald and its president, Mark Lever, have refused to budge on their unreasonable demands, which include a longer work week, drastically reduced severance provisions and the elimination of any job security. 

In all, the company is insisting on 1,200 changes that would totally rewrite and gut the existing collective agreement. It was the company’s announcement that it would   impose these changes on staff Jan. 23 that prompted union members to walk off the job.

"The company is determined to bust our union and to farm out the jobs performed by respected local journalists to out-of-province workers and inexperienced new hires who will work much cheaper," Bulmer said.

"We are ready to return to the bargaining table anytime that the company wants to engage in meaningful negotiations.”

David Wilson, CWA/SCA               email/mobile: dwilson@cwa-swacanada.ca/ 613-850-5423                    

Ingrid Bulmer, President                  email/mobile: bulmeringrid@hotmail.com  /    902-210-3465

Frank Campbell, Vice President       email:            frank.campbell@ns.sympatico.ca

Halifax Typographical Union

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