Metro staff prepares for strike

More than 70 editorial and sales staff at Toronto's Metro newspaper are preparing for a strike or lockout this Friday over pay and benefits negotiations.

Toronto’s Metro daily newspaper workers are preparing for a strike or lockout this week if contract negotiations aren’t settled by a midnight deadline this Friday. This would leave the free daily, which has a daily circ of 300,000, without more than 70 editorial, sales, production and office workers.

According to Local 87-M of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, the main issues that have yet to be ironed out are proposed pay freezes for the next two years and a change to the benefits plan that would have employees paying for 15% of their health costs.

While Metro employees in other major markets are not affected by negotiations, Toronto staff provides layout, copy editing and national advertising bookings for the dailies in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Halifax.

Metro is a global chain, while Toronto’s paper is co-owned by Torstar. According to a release, the union estimates the free daily made between $6 million and $8 million in profit last year.