Cape Breton Post union seeks support from regional council as it fights to save jobs
SYDNEY — The union representing more than 60 employees at the
Cape Breton Post appeared before Cape Breton Regional Municipality council Tuesday night seeking support against several layoffs expected at the newspaper.
Parent company, Transcontinental Media Inc., announced last month it will consolidate the layout and pre-production functions of its dailies and weeklies in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island at a centralized facility in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
It’s expected as many as six fulltime positions will be lost at the newspaper by September. Those affected will have to apply for a new job at the production facility.
Positions at the centre have been posted internally, however official layoff notices aren’t expected at the
Post until sometime later this year. Communication Workers of America/The Newspaper Guild Local 30460 president Steve MacInnis addressed council on the situation in a bid to help save those jobs.
“We feel the regionalization of services puts local media under attack, which can only mean that local coverage will suffer,” MacInnis said.
He said he believed this move by Transcontinental Media is just the “tip of the iceberg” and cuts are likely to continue as the company “wants to further erode jobs within its Atlantic Canadian holdings and move them to a central production centre.”
It was the first presentation by the union as it kicks off its public campaign.
Coun. Ray Paruch said a “very strongly worded” letter from CBRM council should be sent to Transcontinental Media deploring the layoffs. Then he went further.
“Let’s make it personal and say we will not put up with this, we will not stand behind this,” he said, gesturing to more than a dozen Post employees sitting in the gallery.
The community has the purchasing power, Coun. Kim Desveaux said. She suggested advertisers should put pressure on the company to reverse its decision.
Coun. Kevin Saccary, who has been openly critical of the Post’s reporting, called it “marginally ironic” that the newspaper’s employees are looking for support from the same municipal council “you beat up in the paper on a regular basis.”
“Sometimes — and this is a fact — I’ve moved motions here and spoke on issues that never ever get reported,” Saccary said to MacInnis.
Council passed a motion, which Saccary seconded, to send a letter to the company’s headquarters in Montreal objecting to the cuts.