Corus seems intent on stonewalling and breaking the union.




Nov. 23, 2017

Dear CWA Canada members,

Our brothers and sisters at the Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213) have been trying for months to get a fair collective agreement for our members at Corus Entertainment. But Corus seems intent on stonewalling and breaking the union.


Please click on the links below to send a message to Corus:

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Martin O’Hanlon

President, CWA Canada

The Media Union


March 4, 2015

IN January, the Washington Post reported on the city’s latest “scandal.”

Evidently, a union organizing drive was underway in a digital-news shop. The “threat” was so real that a right-wing anti-taxer vowed to help fight off the terrible union.

That audacious union was ours.

What the Post didn’t know is that we routinely get phone calls from digital-media employees curious about organizing. Some of those calls turn into full-fledged drives. Others don’t. Or they aren’t public yet as pro-union employees work behind the scenes building support

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that workers like the idea of democracy in the workplace. Despite all the ill-informed badmouthing of unions, surveys show that most workers would join a union given the opportunity. Grievously, the damage that corporations, anti-union politicians and the courts have done to labor law over the years limits those opportunities.

When employees at digital publications call us, they are as likely to talk about working conditions as wages. This is especially true as workers get into their late 20’s and early 30’s—when they’ve decided they want a life as well as a job.

We help these workers any way we can. If they decide to organize, they are in control of the process. They decide what’s important and what a fair contract would look like.

It should go without saying that it’s invaluable to have a signed document that states what the rules are, as well as minimum standards for wages and benefits. You’ll never find an executive who hasn’t negotiated a contract—typically a highly favorable one with a fat exit package even if he or she is fired.

In the turbulent industry that is media today, these conversations are more important than ever. While some employers are smart enough to pay for quality journalism, others see a sea of laid-off writers and editors and scheme to get as much work out of them as possible at the lowest cost. Some are so arrogant and brazen that they use the “cachet” of a byline to barter for work with no pay.

But even the worst of those employers aren’t the parasites that are Google, Facebook and other content aggregators that effectively steal revenue from news organizations.

Whether your organization is all-digital or still has a print component, Google and its ilk are taking advantage. Google would have you believe that its own genius is responsible for its wealth—nearly $5 billion in profit in the last quarter of 2014, up 30 percent from the same quarter in 2013. In fact, those billions are siphoned from your labor and others’ investment.

Fresh, quality, credible information is a precious resource. It gets more valuable every day, as once-proud and respected news organizations slash jobs and wages. As new employers attempt to fill the gaping hole in the quality and quantity of bona fide journalism, it is vital that workers have a voice.

I noted that some people feel threatened by unions and purposely distort what we do, throwing around phrases like “union bosses” and “union thugs.” They want workers to see unions as outsiders who would exploit them. We know that nothing could be further from the truth.

But they spread those lies because workplace democracy is the last thing they want. They demand no limits on their power and greed. They see unions as a threat because history proves how effective we are at improving workers’ lives. They know that unions did, in fact, create America’s now-disappearing middle class.

Unions aren’t the enemy of management. We can and do work with employers to build better products and stronger companies. In our field, no one cares more about the product—journalism—than journalists themselves. When we can negotiate fair wages, benefits and working conditions, quality journalism thrives.

The loudmouth union-haters on certain TV networks and radio shows, have done a huge disservice to the many Americans who are told nothing about the democratic nature of unions and how we function.

There’s nothing “shocking” about journalists or any other workers trying to form a union. They are ordinary people who want some control over their work lives. You may be one of those people. Give us a call. You’ll be in good company.

Newspapers hire ex-Clark aide to oppose her new recycling scheme


Look who’s lobbying for the struggling newspaper industry.

British Columbia biggest daily and weekly publishers have hired a key member of the BC Liberals’ 2013 re-election campaign in a last-ditch effort to change Environment Minister Mary Polak’s mind about the imposition of a hidden tax on newsprint.

Dimitri Pantazopoulos registered to lobby Polak on behalf of Pacific Newspaper Group, Black Press and Glacier Media from April 7 to May 7. The Maple Leaf Strategies partner’s registration with the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists for B.C. says his objective is “recognition that newspapers are unique in relation to extended producer responsibility and finding a solution that reduces the cost of the (printed paper and packaging) regulation to newspaper producers.”

When Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals amended recycling regulations in May 2011, they did not include a requirement for producers to disclose the fees on printed paper and packaging to consumers. Multi Material B.C., which is overseen by executives of corporations like Walmart, Procter and Gamble and Tim Hortons, is scheduled to take over the province’s recycling system on May 19 and will charge producers a 20 cents-per-kilogram fee on newsprint.

Newspaper publishers estimate it will cost their industry $10 million a year. Newspapers Canada CEO John Hinds fears the fees will force more community newspaper closures and the loss of 300 to 500 jobs.

Toronto-based Postmedia, owner of B.C.’s biggest daily publisher PNG, donated $10,000 to the Liberals on Oct. 17, 2013, five months after its Province newspaper endorsed Clark over Adrian Dix and the NDP in the 2013 election. For the quarter ended Feb. 28, Postmedia reported a $25.3-million loss because of continuing declines in print advertising and circulation.

Pantazopoulos, a former Rob Ford and Stephen Harper advisor, moved to B.C. to be Clark’s principal secretary in April 2011. She promoted him to assistant deputy minister of intergovernmental relations before he took leave of absence to work on the BC Liberals’ re-election campaign. Pantazopoulos took credit for polls that predicted the surprise May 2013 win over the NDP, but has not published his detailed methodology or data. The week after the election, he resigned to become a lobbyist. His Maple Leaf office is on the fourth floor of the World Trade Centre at Canada Place, three floors down from Clark’s Vancouver cabinet office.

Pantazopoulos, however, will be competing for attention with two former Clark aides who are in MMBC’s corner.

Former Clark executive assistant Gabe Garfinkel quit government on Oct. 25, 2013 to join Fleishman Hillard where his lobbying clients include a mix of biopharma and energy corporations. Garfinkel’s MMBC lobbying undertaking began Dec. 2, 2013 and runs until Dec. 31, 2014. His stated plan is “ongoing discussions to provide program updates.”

Steve Kukucha, a partner in Liberal-allied Wazuku Advisory Group, has a more complex assignment with MMBC. Kukucha was the so-called “wagon master” of Clark’s campaign this time last year, managing her media plane and bus. His lobbyist registration lists Clark, deputy minister Neil Sweeney, Polak and aide Matt Mitschke as lobbying targets for “assisting with issues around implementation of MMBC mandate.”

Since the Liberals won, Kukucha has gained eight lobbying clients. Last month, he registered for Quebec alternative energy company Enerkem and tire recycler Crumb Rubber Manufacturers Co. In February, he effectively took over from ex-federal Tory cabinet minster Chuck Strahl as a key lobbyist for pipeline company Enbridge.

Strahl registered Dec. 6, 2013 to set-up meetings between Enbridge and deputy premier Rich Coleman through June 6, but quit prematurely on Feb. 12. The Vancouver Observer revealed the previous month that Strahl was lobbying for the Northern Gateway Pipeline proponent while serving as the chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the watchdog for Canada’s federal spy service.

Kukucha began his Enbridge lobbying gig on Feb. 20, naming Clark, Coleman, Polak, Energy Minister Bill Bennett and Aboriginal Affairs minister John Rustad as his targets. Also named on his file are Sweeney, Clark’s chief-of-staff Dan Doyle and deputy chief of staff Michele Cadario.

Kukucha donated $9,915 to the Liberals since 2005, of which $6,100 was in his former role as an executive with Ballard Power. Wazuku donated $8,275 in 2012 and 2013 to the Liberals.

North Vancouver-based journalist Bob Mackin has reported for local, regional, national and international media outlets since he began as a journalist in 1990.

– See more at:

Postmedia to close Kennedy Heights plant


The Kennedy Heights printing plant will be put up for sale immediately and operations there will cease sometime in 2015, the union was told today by Paul Godfrey, CEO of Postmedia.

The company presented two possible options going forward. One is contracting out the work currently done at Kennedy Heights. The company has “entered into a contract with Transcontinental” to print papers effective early 2015, Godfrey told Local 2000 representatives.

The other option is the union and company reaching an agreement to open a new plant that would cost substantially less to operate than Kennedy Heights. Godfrey explained that the contract between Postmedia and Transcontinental will not go into effect if the company and union reach a deal before Nov. 18, 2013 that reduces costs at a new plant by 70-75 percent.

Our current contract language says “there will be no involuntary loss of employment of any regular employee during the life of the contract as a result of” contracting out.

Union officers will be consulting with our legal counsel and meeting with members to discuss our next steps.

The company said it was hoping to have further discussions soon.

Postmedia also announced today that it is selling the Calgary Herald building and land and will be contracting out printing beginning in November.


California newspaper defies industry wisdom to stay alive – and prospers


Orange County Register shocked the crisis-stricken industry with an ambitious experiment. One year later, the paper is celebrating Conventional media wisdom posits several ways for a newspaper to commit suicide. It can drive up costs by multiplying staff and pagination. It can prioritise print over digital. It can erect a hard paywall to seal itself from the internet. click here to read the entire story

Chicago Sun-Times lays off its photo staff


By Robert Channick, Tribune staff reporter

The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward, the newspaper said.

A total of 28 full-time staffers received the news Thursday morning at a meeting held at the Sun-Times offices in Chicago, according to sources familiar with the situation. The layoffs are effective immediately.

The newspaper released a statement suggesting the move reflected the increasing importance of video in news reporting:

“The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements. The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network.”

read the entire story here

Winnipeg Free Press restricts online comments to subscribers in effort to reduce “digital diatribe”


The Winnipeg Free Press is restricting its online comments to print and online subscribers in an effort to keep “the e-party going without the party-crashers.”

The newspaper’s editor Paul Samyn said the new commenting policy designed to reduce the “digital diatribe” will go into effect on June 3.

“The thinking behind our policy change is the bulk of the ugliness that lands from time to time on our website comes from those abusing the “free” in Free Press to engage in gutter talk or worse on our no-cost forum,” he said. “There will no doubt be some who will accuse the Free Press of limiting their right to free speech, or complain that we’re not living up to the “free” in Free Press. They, of course, are entitled to their opinion, but, just for the record, there are no charter rights requiring us to have their voice heard at our water cooler.”

Follow this link to continue reading this story

Transcontinental Media squeezing freelancers: why this matters to us all

Source  CMG  •  POSTED ON  February 20, 2013

Transcontinental Media, publisher of magazines such as Elle Canada and The Hockey News as well as dozens of community newspapers across the country, is trying to impose a harsh new contract on freelancers. The conditions Transcontinental is seeking undermine everyone in the sector.

Transcontinental wants the same rights it gets for the work of employees and highly-paid contractors. The catch? It wants to keep paying low editorial freelance rates.

Freelancers are being asked to sign over all rights to the pieces they contribute, on all platforms and all brands the company owns, in all countries, forever. Transcontinental is also seeking the right to change the work in any way it wants and either leave the freelancer’s byline off – or, perhaps worse, leave it on.

Please spread the word about this – especially if you know anyone who freelances for Transcontinental. The Guild is organizing with fed-up freelancers to fix the contract. Write to Keith Maskell (

There’s more to this story, which you can find on Story Board here.