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Council in solidarity with Typographical Union strike at the Chronicle Herald

Halifax-based organizers Angela Giles and Robin Tress.

The Council of Canadians expressed its solidarity with the Halifax Typographical Union on the first anniversary of the strike at the Chronicle Herald.

Local Xpress, a news website run entirely by striking reporters, photographers and editors, reports, “Hundreds of union members and other supporters turned out for rallies across the province in support of the newsroom workers. Sixty-one newsroom staff walked off the job January 23, 2016, over a contract that included wage rollbacks and other cuts. Departures have since reduced union membership to 55 people.”

On February 1, 2016, the Canadian Press reported, “The 61 editorial staff have been off the job since January 23. The union is striking against a list of contract concessions which Herald management says are needed to cope with economic challenges affecting the North American newspaper industry. Among a host of proposed changes, the newspaper wants to reduce wages, lengthen working hours, and alter future pension benefits. The union has said it would remain a union ‘in name only’ if it agrees to more than 1,232 changes to the existing contract.”

And last year the CBC highlighted, “The labour contract proposed by management of the Chronicle Herald contains language that could be used to kill the union at Canada’s oldest independently owned newspaper, legal experts say. …It changes job security to ‘an aspiration rather than a right’, said Jula Hughes, a University of New Brunswick professor who specializes in labour law and has reviewed the offer. …Management could hire contractors or brand new non-union employees to do the work of union members. It’s language that Hughes said she has never seen.”

In May 2016, Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff called on the province to appoint a mediator to help end the strike. Yussuff stated, “It’s vital for the province to get their mediation services. Fundamentally that is part of the system. All the workers want is for their employer to go back to the bargaining table and negotiate to find a solution. Nobody can expect a union to agree to over a 1000 changes to their contract and break the union.”

The union continues to seek to renew negotiations.

Council of Canadians supporters are encouraged to read the Local Xpress for news, sports, business and entertainment in Nova Scotia.

The union’s Facebook page is here.