Canada's Globe and Mail staff to hold strike vote

Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:55pm EDT
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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO (Reuters) - About 480 workers at Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper will vote this weekend on whether to give their union a strike mandate amid tense negotiations over a new contract, a union official said on Tuesday.

"The bargaining has been very difficult," said Brad Honywill, president of Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada Local 87-M.

The current contract expires June 30 and a strike or a lockout at the national paper could take place immediately afterward. The vote is slated for Saturday, Honywill said.

"We're hoping that by getting a strike mandate, the employer will come back to the bargaining table willing to negotiate," he said, without detailing the issues causing problems in the contract talks.

"So far, they've had a very aggressive agenda and have refused to budge from that."

The union represents the Globe's advertising, circulation and editorial employees.

Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley said he would not comment on the talks while they are ongoing. He noted there are three more bargaining sessions scheduled before the current contract expires.

"The process is under way and we'll respect the process," he said on Tuesday.   Continued...