Nova Scotia

The Chronicle Herald locks out 13 press operators

The largest newspaper in the Maritimes has locked out its unionized press operators and mechanics after they voted to reject the company's latest offer.

No new talks planned, but two sides scheduled to appear before labour board

The 13 workers from the Chronicle Herald voted no to a four-year deal that would have eliminated some job security and early-retirement incentives.

The largest newspaper in the Maritimes has locked out its unionized press operators and mechanics after they voted to reject the company's latest offer.

The 13 workers from the Chronicle Herald voted no to a four-year deal that would have eliminated some job security and early-retirement incentives.

The Halifax Typographical Union (HTU), which represents the workers, says management announced the lockout at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, shortly after members agreed to negotiate monetary concessions.

The newspaper issued a release Saturday saying it did not seek a cut in pay or benefits for the employees, describing them as "the highest in the region at a minimum of $66,000 a year."

In a release, Martin O’Hanlon, president of CWA Canada, the HTU’s parent union, called the company’s behaviour bizarre and mean-spirited.

“All along, the company has been threatening to lock us out unless we agree to concessions. And then, as soon as we agree, they lock us out anyway. How do you deal with an employer like this?” said O'Hanlon.

No further contract talks are scheduled, but the two sides are expected to appear before the provincial labour board on Tuesday for a hearing into a complaint of bad-faith bargaining against the company.

Last fall, the Chronicle Herald eliminated 17 jobs in the newsroom.

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