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Threat of job loss a factor, as newspaper workers vote to avoid strike

Postmedia had threatened to lock out its employees, but will continue to operate as usual in the capital after the newspaper union voted to accept a new contract.
Ottawa Sun/Ottawa Citizen papers (Sept 6, 2018/Jenn Pritchard)

A strike have been avoided on Baxter Road, as the Ottawa Newspaper Guild has voted 32 to 24 in favour of a collective agreement offered by Postmedia. 

Guild President Deborah Cole believes the threat of job losses was enough to scare some people. 

"One of the things that Postmedia said in that letter [to its employees] was, 'If we lock you out, you're jeopardizing the paper.' That was kind of ironic, [because] we weren't taking the labour action, they were," she said.

"And we believed it," Cole added. "I mean, we said that at the bargaining table too. We said we would not go on strike because we didn't think the paper would survive, but that didn't mean that we were going to accept an offer that stripped us of our health benefits."

Cole said, if the vote had gone just a couple days earlier, the union was ready to fight tooth and nail for more benefits and higher wages. 

The Ottawa Newspaper Guild represents 63 workers at the Ottawa Sun and Ottawa Citizen, including reporters, as well as office and maintenance staff. 


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