Ming Pao media workers rally for fair first contract

Fight for honorable wages, work conditions at hostile Chinese-Canadian newspaper

OTTAWA, Sept. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Workers at Ming Pao Newspapers in Toronto will rally today (Wed. Sept. 21) at 2 p.m. in front of the prominent daily paper at 1355 Huntingwood Drive in the heart of the Chinese-Canadian community. The 138 employees of the newspaper began a legal strike today.

"We are fighting for better pay and better treatment," said Simon Sung, the 32-year old graphic artist who was elected as the workplace union leader. "We shouldn't have to accept low pay and minimum labour standards just because we aren't working in the mainstream English media."

The major issues in the negotiations are wages and sales commissions, long hours, minimum vacation, and job security. The workers have been without a first contract since forming their union one year ago.

"Ten years ago, Chinese-Canadian staff went on a successful strike at Ming Pao's competitor, Sing Tao Daily, for the five-day work week and better wages," said Paul Morse, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada Local 87-M Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild. 

"That employer was bankrolled by Torstar, a Canadian media giant. This conflict is different. It's a Chinese-Canadian business exploiting Chinese-Canadian workers.

"This employer's hostility to the unionization of its enterprise is palpable," he said. "This has the ingredients of a classic labour struggle."


SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Paul Morse: 905-536-5650

Simon Sung: 647-404-9428

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COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

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