NOV. 23


» Bargaining Underway
» Our agenda: Revenue growth
» Their agenda: Cut costs
» Next steps

Two solitudes

Three days
Formal bargaining has begun. This week we had three days of meetings, Monday through Wednesday, with the company at a downtown hotel. Things are not going well. It is still early.

Guild: Attack revenue problems
The core of our proposal, made to Publisher Jagoda Pike on Monday, is a call for the company to ensure labour peace and attack the many areas where revenue is almost literally falling through our fingers. We identified numerous opportunities, particularly in advertising and on our Website, for us to recoup millions of dollars that are now being lost to bad computer systems, poor operational planning, misguided management and the like. We'll have more to share about this approach in the coming weeks.

Company: Fewer, cheaper employees
We were told the company wants to reduce payroll and benefit costs. The proposals the company tabled Monday are unprecedented - a frontal assault on virtually every aspect of what we value as employees. Your benefit costs would leap. Your job security - through such hard-won rights as our layoff provisions and bumping rights to protection against unfettered freelance and others selling our ads - would be destroyed. Sunday pay, shift differentials, overtime and sick leave would either be eliminated or slashed. Some of us will no longer be working here.

So the company agenda is very spooky. There is simply no chance of avoiding a serious dispute as long as the company pursues this vicious agenda.

Next steps
Our next scheduled day of formal bargaining is Dec. 5, when the appointed provincial conciliator is to attend. We have other bargaining dates through December, right up to Dec. 21. In the meantime, our Guild action committee continues to work away at lockout/strike preparation. If you'd like to help, please let us know.

Guild Bargaining Committee
Unit Chair: Maureen Dawson
Editorial: Dan Smith and Valerie Hauch (alternate)
Circulation: Steve Gjorkes and Jeff Bodrucky (alternate)
Finance: Cathie Nichols and Dawn Armstrong (alternate)
Advertising: Elizabeth Marzari and Dijana Maderic (alternate) Craig Wattie and Tony Camara (alternate)
Pre-Press: Lester Veszlenyi and Lorraine Wohlgemuth (alternate)