Canada's Globe journalists reject offer, strike looms

Reuters

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Journalists and other workers at Canada's Globe and Mail rejected a new collective agreement on Wednesday, setting one of the country's largest and most influential newspapers up for a potential strike or lockout if fresh talks fail.

Of the votes cast by union members, 299 out of 355 votes, or 92.3 percent, voted against the latest offer from management, according to Shawn McCarthy, a spokesman for the bargaining committee of Unifor local 87-M.

He later said the two sides plan to resume talks on July 8 with a mediator present. The previous collective agreement expired earlier this week.

The Globe is majority-owned by the Woodbridge Co Ltd, a holding vehicle for Toronto's billionaire Thomson family. Telecom company BCE Inc owns a 15 percent stake in the newspaper. Woodbridge is also the majority shareholder of Reuters' parent company Thomson Reuters Corp.

If the two sides cannot agree to terms, the reporters, editors and other workers may walk off the job or be locked out by management, who would then have to fill the Globe's pages.

The Globe, like much of the traditional media, has struggled to offset shrinking print advertising revenue as marketing dollars follow readers online. The Globe has put up a porous paywall for its website in a bid to increase digital revenue.

The Globe's reporters and columnists withheld their bylines from the paper and website earlier this week in protest at the path talks were going down.

Globe employees had already voted heavily in favor of giving their union, Unifor local 87-M, a mandate to strike if no deal was reached by the time their collective agreement expired.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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