18 layoff notices suspended for Halifax newsroom workers: union president

HALIFAX -- The union representing striking newsroom employees at Canada's largest independent daily newspaper says the company has suspended 18 layoff notices that were sent out hours after the workers walked off the job.

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Ingrid Bulmer, president of the Halifax Typographical Union, says a lawyer for the Halifax Chronicle Herald sent them a text message saying layoff notices that were delivered Saturday morning have been suspended.

Bulmer says the union, which represents 61 editorial staff, has requested written confirmation from the company.

Nancy Cook, the Herald's vice-president of administration, confirmed in an email Sunday that the layoff notices have been suspended.

The union and company met Sunday afternoon and the Herald issued a statement saying the two sides would continue discussions on Monday.

The work stoppage began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday after talks broke down earlier last week.

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.

The union has said it believes the primary goal of management in the contract dispute is union busting.

It says it would remain a union "in name only" if proposals that make more than 1,232 changes to the existing contract were accepted.


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