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UPDATE: Postmedia extends deadline to lock out newspaper workers in Ottawa

In a memo, Postmedia officials warn of a lock out if a deal is not reached by the weekend.

A memo's message is clear -- take the deal or walk the line. 

The letter, sent to staff Thursday morning, explains that a lock out is not Postmedia's preferred course of action, but that they need to move on from a collective agreement that expired 34 months ago. 

Vice President of Human Resources and Labour Relations at Postmedia, Chris Krygiel writes that if union members vote to reject or refuse to vote on the "final offer," the company will lock out all members as of 12:01 a.m. Monday. 

The threat is something not sitting well with the union. 

Martin O'Hanlon, the President of the Communication Workers Association of America and Canada, explained to 1310 NEWS that employees haven't received a pay raise in six years, and that there is no raise coming in the future. 

"Paul Godfrey, another top executive got a pay raise of over 30%," he said. "You know, how the hell can anybody give themselves a pay raise of 30% and then demand concessions from their employees and threaten to lock them out. 

O'Hanlon said that Godfrey is shameless and "screwing over his workers." 

Lois Kirkup, Vice President of the Ottawa Newspaper Guild explained that if workers are locked out, they won't be alone. 

"The Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Newspaper Guild, are also in bargaining right now and they are in a strike position," Kirkup explained. "In solidarity they have agreed to, if there's any labour dispute here in Ottawa, that there will be a few days later, a labour dispute in Montreal." 

The lock out would affect 63 people working, not only in the newsroom, but also in building maintenance, in-house printers, sales and service along with financial services. 

UPDATE: The deadline for the vote has been extended to Wednesday to allow for more union members to participate in the vote. 

Postmedia wrote in a memo that if the final offer is rejected, the company will local out all union members at 12:01 a.m. Thursday September 13. 


Jenn Pritchard

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