In a last-ditch attempt to avoid a lockout, unionized members of the Halifax Typographical Union offered major concessions to Chronicle Herald management Wednesday but were rejected outright.
The concessions offered include:
An immediate five per cent wage cut across the board and no wage increases for the next two years.
A 25 per cent reduction in starting salaries for new reporters and photographers.
Placing a cap on severance.
Reducing the mileage rate by 17 per cent.
Reducing vacation allotment.
Management fully rejected these concessions and informed the union they plan to impose a new set of working conditions as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
As a result, the union intends to immediately file a 48-hour strike notice. However, management has said they will impose a lockout before a strike could take place.
Unlike the union’s position, which has changed since this process started in October, the Chronicle Herald’s position has remained unchanged throughout this entire process. We believe the company was always intent on locking out its 61 unionized editorial employees.
The company’s attack on jurisdiction and seniority has remained unchanged since bargaining began. In essence, if we were to agree to their demands, we would be
giving away all job security, some access to severance pay and layoff protection tied to seniority.
We believe the company’s strategy is nothing short of union-busting.
The union is willing to continue negotiations. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, we ask readers and advertisers to suspend their subscriptions and advertisements until a deal has been reached. HTU Local 30130 also wishes to advise the public that unionized employees, shouldthey be locked out, will launch a news website. It will be called Local Xpress, with further details to follow.