Cape Bre­ton Post union seeks sup­port from re­gional coun­cil as it fights to save jobs

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY CHRIS SHAN­NON cshan­non@cb­post.com

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.

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