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Herald doesn’t want to return to the bargaining table

by Halifax Typographical Union

Striking newsroom staff at the Chronicle Herald are flummoxed by management’s unwillingness to return to the bargaining table.

“The owners and managers of the newspaper appear to be satisfied to undermine the long-standing Chronicle Herald brand by producing an inferior product with replacement workers while keeping real journalists walking the picket line,” said Ingrid Bulmer, president of the Halifax Typographical Union representing the 59 striking reporters, photographers, editors and support workers.

“The company has refused to budge on its numerous and regressive demands since bargaining began more than five months ago,” Bulmer said.

The company’s attack on jurisdiction and seniority has remained unchanged, she said, forcing Local 30130 of CWA-Canada into a defensive strike on Jan. 23.

The Herald’s latest show of intransigence included the outright rejection of bringing a mediator in to try find a resolution to the 10-week work stoppage. The Herald instead concluded that conciliator Peter Lloyd, who had failed to help the sides reach a deal in December and January, could be leaned on again to try to kick-start negotiations.

But the Herald, through its lawyer Grant Machum, made it clear that it would not engage in any further talks until the union was willing to capitulate to all the company’s concessionary demands.

“If we were to agree to their demands, we would be surrendering all job security, severance pay and layoff protection tied to seniority, and our defined-benefit pension plan,” Bulmer said. “We still believe the company’s strategy is outright union-busting.”

The union, which had at one time offered considerable concessions that included a five-per- cent wage cut across the board, a cap on severance, reduced mileage rates and fewer vacation days, continues to fight the company’s outrageous demands by targeting advertisers and subscribers and asking that they not support the Herald until a fair deal puts real journalists back to work.

In the meantime, the union urges readers to turn to the Local Xpress, an online publication produced by striking newsroom workers, to find the stories and photos that they once enjoyed in the Herald (www.localxpress.ca).

For more information, please contact:

Contact: Dave Wilson, CWA Canada staff rep, 613-850- 5423 or dwilson@cwa-scacanada.ca

Ingrid Bulmer, HTU president at 902-210- 3465 or bulmeringrid@hotmail.com

Frank Campbell, HTU vice-president at 902-497- 0057 or frank.campbell@ns.sympatico.ca

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