Deadline for strike or lockout looms at Halifax Chronicle Herald newspaper
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 22, 2016 2:11PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 22, 2016 4:30PM EST
HALIFAX -- A deadline for a lockout or strike is looming at Canada's largest independent daily newspaper.
The union for editorial staff at the Halifax Chronicle Herald says 61 newsroom employees will be in a legal strike or lockout position just after 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
The Halifax Typographical Union says it believes the primary goal of management in the contract dispute is union busting.
The union says it would remain a union "in name only" if proposals that make more than 1,232 changes to the existing contract were accepted.
The union says it learned late Thursday that the newspaper had arranged a news-sharing agreement with Irving-owned Brunswick News.
Patrick Brethour, the editor-in-chief of Brunswick News, said Friday the arrangement is nothing new. The two media companies have informally shared content for a long time, especially on the sports side.
"It's nothing more than a continuation of that ad hoc arrangement," he said. "I wouldn't expect it to be a very high volume (of stories)."
The Herald has said it wants to reduce wages, lengthen working hours, alter future pension benefits and lay off up to 18 workers to cope with economic challenges that have beset North America's newspaper industry.
In an open letter published Wednesday, the newspaper's chief executive says technology has changed the business and the Herald must make major changes if it is to remain viable and Nova Scotia owned.
Mark Lever also said the paper will continue publishing if there is a work stoppage.
"We are making the necessary adjustments to our operations to meet our commitments to our customers and our community," he wrote.