National Post workers look to unionize

If formed, the union would be the first for the national paper since its founding in 1998.
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Employees at the National Post are looking to join a union. The move is being made to ensure safety from possible impending job and salary cuts — so says a statement from employees posted on a new website, NationalPostUnion.ca.

The website contained an announcement, posted Wednesday morning, that employees were looking to organize with the Communication Workers of America’s Canadian outpost, CWA Canada. If formed, it would represent the first union for the national paper since its founding in 1998.

“Some might even consider this a hell-freezes-over moment. But NP editorial staff have no other realistic option,” the statement read. It contained a link to a confidential union card.

The post alleges that the company is slashing the pay and benefits of employees.

Postmedia did not return requests for comment at press time.

While parent company Postmedia has not confirmed that additional salary and benefit cuts are presently taking place, it did announce last October that it was looking to cut 20% of its salary expenses through initiatives including a company-wide voluntary buyout program, with reductions coming from all areas of the company. Recently, an agreement between the union representing Postmedia paper The Vancouver Sun saw 21 jobs saved out of 54 originally ordered cut.

In its most recent quarterly result, Postmedia reported a $13 million net profit, however said profit came not from higher revenues (revenue continued to decline year-over-year for the company) but from one-time, non-cash items, such as the $38.3 million sale of Infomart to Meltwater and a $22.8 million gain from changes to employee benefit plans. Postmedia also announced earlier this summer that it would indefinitely cease the publication of its print issue on Mondays, however the company said that no staff reductions would take place as a result.

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