Postmedia to close local printing press, make job cuts to Windsor Star

The decision to close the plant was made by the paper's parent company, Postmedia.

Unifor said the move will leave more than 75 workers without jobs

Man looking disappointed. media mics in front of him.
Colin Brian is currently a printing press operator and the president of Unifor 517-G. Is family has worked at the plant for generations. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC)

The printing press for the Windsor Star will be closing down permanently on March 3.

The decision to close the plant was made by the paper's parent company, Postmedia.

It means that for the first time in 135 years, a paper won't be printed locally. The decision will leave more than 75 workers without jobs, including Colin Brian, who is currently a printing press operator and the president of Unifor Local 517-G.

He said his family has deep roots at the local newspaper printing facility.

"There has been a Brian at the printing facility non-stop. My whole family life as a child was revolved around the Windsor Star. All my brothers we were all carriers. With my years of service as a carrier, I'm sure I've been working for the Windsor Star for more than 32 years."

people sitting in rows of chairs
Union members attended a press conference regarding the closure of the Windsor Star printing plant on Tuesday. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC)

Brian said it feels hard to remain optimistic about future talks.

"Deep down it, it seems like Postmedia is making some deep cuts and I'm we've been through this before with Postmedia and when they make cuts, they make cuts."

In a statement, Postmedia said approximately 22 full-time and 55 part-time positions will be eliminated because of the plant closure.

"We are grateful for the work done by our dedicated colleagues. We are working with union representatives, in accordance with the collective agreement, to ensure a smooth transition."

In addition to closing down the printing press, Postmedia will also be slashing the editorial staff at the Windsor Star by 11 per cent.

Representatives from Unifor and the union that represents the editorial staff, CWA Canada, said they found out about the cuts Jan. 24 during a meeting with Postmedia executives. Three days after that, they received notice that the printing plant will be closing down permanently.

Unifor says Postmedia's decision to close the printing plant will affect a number of positions, including electricians, engravers and press operators.

The job of printing and preparing the Windsor Star newspapers for circulation will be redistributed between Postmedia's Toronto and London facilities.

Last year, the Windsor Star newsroom moved out of its office downtown.

Labour council reacts

The Windsor & District Labour Council has released a statement reacting to the job cuts and the closure of Windsor Star's printing press.

It said the move will take the Windsor Star further away from being a local publication.

"This news is devastating to not only the Windsor workers and their families, but also calls into question the long term viability of the Windsor Star and the resulting erosion of local news coverage, and by extension, democracy," the statement read in part.

"The Windsor and District Labour Council condemns these cuts and calls upon Postmedia to reverse their decision."

Together, Unifor and CWA Canada represent over 16,000 media workers across the country. The Canadian Media Guild, which represents CBC employees, is part of CWA Canada.


Aastha Shetty

CBC journalist

Aastha Shetty can be reached via email or by tweeting her at @aastha_shetty


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