Globe and Mail strike averted

A tentative contract agreement was reached shortly before deadline at midnight last night.

A strike by the Globe and Mail‘s 480 unionized employees has potentially been averted as a tentative contract agreement was reached shortly before midnight last night.

Union members – editorial, advertising and circ workers – must first approve the agreement on Monday before it is ratified and before details of the contract are publicly released, says Brad Honywill, president of Local 87-M of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. The bargaining team is recommending approval of the agreement, which was achieved after a 16-hour mediation session, he adds.

‘I think the difficulty of the talks reflected the volatility of the industry,’ Honywill tells MiC. ‘There’s not only the recession, but there’s the changing economics of the media industry itself.’

Workers first voted for a strike mandate on Saturday, June 20, rejecting an initial offer from the Globe, owned by CTVglobemedia Inc. Another offer sent to employees by email last Friday, which included changes to pension benefits, salary reductions and a two-year wage freeze, was again rejected by an 89% margin. The workers’ contract expired Tuesday at midnight but negotiations were extended until yesterday.

‘If there is a message that can be sent, it’s that even though times are difficult, when two sides are willing to sort out these problems, a deal can be achieved,’ Honywill says.