Globe and Mail reaches last-minute deal, averting...
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Jul 09, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Globe and Mail reaches last-minute deal, averting strike


The Globe and Mail and its unionized staff have reached a last-minute tentative deal, less than an hour before employees were set to walk off the job.

Negotiations went down the wire after Unifor Local 87-M, which represents journalists, sales and administrative staff, set a 4 p.m. Wednesday strike deadline in hopes a hard deadline would result in a settlement.

“There is a tentative agreement,” said Shawn McCarthy, a reporter who speaks on behalf of the unionized staff, in an email. “No details yet and we still have to vote.”

The union’s bargaining committee is unanimously recommending the tentative deal. A ratification vote will likely be called for Thursday and the strike deadline has been suspended until further notice.

A walkout by Globe journalists would have been a first, as they have a strike-free record. The last strike at the Globe was in 1964, when composing room employees walked off the job in a move that led to decertification of the International Typographical Union.

The two sides began bargaining Tuesday with well-respected mediator Kevin Burkett. It was the first meeting since employees overwhelmingly rejected management’s last contract offer a week ago.

That offer was turned down by a 92.3 per cent vote.

Both the company and the union have been in a legal position to lock out workers or to strike since June 30, when the contract expired.

Key issues in the contract negotiations include job security and wage cuts. One of the contentious issues on the table is a proposal from management to require some editorial staff to write “advertorial,” custom content paid for and approved by advertisers.

Details on the tentative deal are expected to be released at the ratification meeting.

Tensions had been rising, especially after unionized workers, which include reporters, editors, advertising representatives and administrative staff, gave Unifor a 97 per cent strike mandate.

Reporters and columnists had earlier pulled their bylines in a one-day strike. And company officials last week erected a chain-link fence running the entire side of the Globe’s building on Front St. just as union members were voting on the last contract offer.

Toronto Star

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