In­quiry to me­di­ate long labour dis­pute at Hal­i­fax Her­ald

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

The Nova Sco­tia gov­ern­ment has called for an in­quiry into the 18-month-old labour dis­pute be­tween the Hal­i­fax Chron­i­cle-Her­ald, Canada’s largest in­de­pen­dently owned daily news­pa­per, and the union that rep­re­sents the pa­per’s ed­i­to­rial staff.

Derek Mom­bour­quette, the prov­ince’s act­ing labour min­is­ter, con­firmed Thurs­day that an in­dus­trial in­quiry com­mis­sion is set to be­gin work next month.

“There seems to be no end in sight to this dis­pute,” he said after a pro­vin­cial cab­i­net meet­ing. “We wanted both par­ties to come to the ta­ble and fig­ure out a so­lu­tion to the dis­pute, but now that it has gone on this long we felt like it was time to take ac­tion.”

The two sides are ex­pected to meet in early Au­gust for a me­di­ated dis­cus­sion with com­mis­sioner Wil­liam Ka­plan, who was most re­cently ap­pointed by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to me­di­ate the Canada Post dis­pute.

If a vol­un­tary agree­ment can’t be reached, how­ever, Ka­plan will in­ves­ti­gate the causes of the dis­pute and re­port his find­ings and po­ten­tial rec­om­men­da­tions to the min­is­ter.

The process is non-bind­ing and does not guar­an­tee a deal will be reached. About 60 re­porters, pho­tog­ra­phers, ed­i­tors and sup­port staff walked off the job on Jan. 23, 2016, over a list of con­tract con­ces­sions that man­age­ment said were needed to cope with chal­lenges af­fect­ing the news­pa­per in­dus­try.

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