The union that represents striking Chronicle Herald workers says the paper's management has refused to return to the bargaining table.

In a news release issued Friday night, the Halifax Typographical Union said management "didn't feel the union was ready to make 'necessary' concessions."

The union, which represents reporters, editors, photographers, columnists and support staff, said it tried to contact the paper through a conciliator. Workers have been on strike for seven weeks.

CBC News contacted Chronicle Herald management for comment Saturday, but did not receive an immediate response. 

Morale still 'pretty strong'

The union said they offered to agree to a five per cent wage cut, a cap on severance pay, reduced mileage rates and fewer vacation days. 

The union's release said management wants to make 1,200 changes that would "totally rewrite and gut the existing collective agreement" including introducing a longer work week, reducing severance provisions and "the elimination of any job security." 

The union says since the strike started two employees have left the paper to work elsewhere.

"I don't think that's uncommon in strikes or work stoppages. It may have been jobs they were looking at before ... it might have more to say about the work environment that existed before," said Frank Campbell, the union's vice president.

Union wants to keep pressure on

"Morale for the most part seems pretty strong. People are obviously getting somewhat tired of walking the picket line but people are holding together and we still have a lot of resolve," he said.  

Saturday Campbell was in Truro handing out leaflets about the labour dispute. 

Campbell says the union will continue to put pressure on advertisers and Chronicle Herald subscribers to drop the paper until employees get back to work.

The CBC's Canadian Media Guild belongs to the same parent union, CWA Canada.