Canadian Manufacturing

Media union demands Postmedia cancel layoffs, divert exec bonuses

CWA Canada is taking Postmedia to task over plans to lay off employees and while paying out bonuses to executives



OTTAWA—CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, is demanding that Postmedia rescind its recent layoff notices, along with the big bonuses it paid top executives and use the money to save jobs.

Postmedia has begun serving notice of layoffs, including nine positions at the Montreal Gazette and six at the Ottawa Citizen. The layoffs, combined with recent buyouts, will cut the company’s workforce by roughly 20 per cent.

CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon noted that the $2.3 million in “retention” bonuses paid to company CEO Paul Godfrey and his fellow executives could save up to 40 jobs.

“Where do you think the money is better spent?” O’Hanlon asked. “On bonuses for overpaid, under-performing executives or on hard-working employees who actually produce something and contribute to the economy?

Postmedia has cut more than 3,000 jobs in the last six years.

“Only a fool would believe that doing the same thing over and over will produce a different result,” O’Hanlon said. “It’s long past time to stop destroying the company with these cuts and invest in a quality product.”

CWA Canada is calling on the federal government to take action. The union is urging legislation or regulations to limit concentration of media ownership and prevent leveraged purchases of important national companies.

CWA Canada represents about 6,000 media workers at companies across the country, including the CBC, The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters, and many Postmedia publications.

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