Union at Canada's Globe rejects offer, but to vote

Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:07pm EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - The union representing workers at Canada's Globe and Mail has rejected the newspaper's latest offer, but union members will still vote on the deal ahead of next week's strike deadline, union officials said on Friday.

Despite progress on proposed changes to the pension plan, the two sides are still far apart ahead of the contract's expiration on June 30, said Brad Honywill, president of Local 87-M of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, which represents 480 editorial, advertising and circulation workers at the national paper.

"They've now budged, but it's still a bad deal," he said.

Workers voted last week to authorize the union to call a strike if it fails to negotiate a new contract.

The main stumbling blocks have been wages, which the paper wants to freeze for the first two years of the contract, and changing the pension plan from a defined benefit system to a defined employee-contribution plan, Honywill said.

The Globe said in a statement it has adjusted its position and is now offering to allow current employees to stay on a defined benefit system, although with higher contributions.

Also, it is now proposing a five-year contract, instead of its previous proposal for a six-year deal, Honywill said.

He said that despite the bargaining committee's rejection of the deal, the union will members to vote on the Globe's offer on Saturday.   Continued...