Union urges Sun Media to encourage buyouts over layoffs

TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The union representing most Sun Media employees in Ontario is urging the employer to encourage voluntary buyouts instead of layoffs in its recently-announced downsizing of 200 jobs.

Sun Media announced today that it is cutting 200 positions across Canada, including 18 unionized positions at various newspapers represented by Unifor Local 87-M in Ontario.

Although plans may change, the downsizing was expected to affect the Toronto Sun, London Free Press, Belleville Intelligencer, Chatham Daily News, Sarnia Observer, Stratford Beacon-Herald, Brantford Expositor, Owen Sound Sun-Times, St. Catharines Standard and the Niagara Falls Review.

"The timing of this announcement, coming just three weeks before Christmas, couldn't have been worse," said Paul Morse, president of Unifor Local 87-M. "Our sympathies go out to members who will have the threat of layoff hanging over their head this holiday season."

Morse urged the company to open its wallet to give employees the incentive, and the means, to leave voluntarily, perhaps allowing them to retire early or to start a new career, thereby saving the jobs of employees who wish to remain.

Morse also expressed concern for the morale and working conditions of employees going forward. In many instances, only one or two people are being cut at a particular newspaper but staffing has already been cut to the point where the loss of two jobs has a major impact, he said.

Unifor Local 87‐M, also known as the Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild, represents 2,600 unionized media employees in Ontario, including employees at the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Metroland and the Hamilton Spectator.

SOURCE Unifor Local 87-M

For further information:

Paul Morse, 905-536-5650