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Chronicle Herald locks out pressroom workers

Union agreed to negotiate concessions

by Robert Devet

In preparation for a lockout management erected a fence around the Herald's printing plant in Bedford weeks ago. Photo facebook
In preparation for a lockout management erected a fence around the Herald's printing plant in Bedford weeks ago. Photo facebook

(KJIPUKTUK), HALIFAX - As of 4:30 PM today Chronicle Herald management has locked out the 13 workers who run the printing presses at the printing plant on Bluebell Road in Bedford.

Management did so even though the pressroom workers had agreed to negotiate concessions.

Herald owners want four years of wage freezes and the elimination of job security language, early retirement provisions and existing scheduling arrangements.

“The workers voted down the Herald's offer, but agreed that we should go back to the table to talk about monetary concessions, Ingrid Bulmer, President of the Halifax Typographical Union, tells the Halifax Media Co-op.

“That's what we let the company know, and the lock out announcement was how the company responded,” says Bulmer.

The union expected all along that it would come to this.

“The employer has not moved one iota on anything and has not shown any willingness to look at any of our proposals,” David Esposti told the Halifax Media Co-op on February 7th. Esposti is a staff representative with CWA/SCA Canada, the HTU's parent union,

“(The owner) has drawn a line in the sand and is looking for a fight,” said Esposti at that time.

“They're bullying these guys into signing a contract, because they don't want to negotiate. We always said we want to have meaningful talks but management put up one roadblock up after another,” Bulmer confirms.

In November of last year Herald management announced the layoff of as many as 20 newsroom workers. After difficult negotiations and through other concessions and personal sacrifices by many members of the newsroom the union was able to soften the blow.

The two sides are scheduled to appear before the provincial Labour Board on Tuesday to hear a bad faith bargaining complaint filed by the union.

Meanwhile the paper will be printed by replacement workers / scabs.


See also: Herald union asks readers to cancel subscriptions for duriation of lockout

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter @DevetRobert


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