Globe and Mail, union extend talks

Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:44pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The union representing workers at Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper has agreed with the paper to sit down with a mediator to try to hammer out a new contract and avoid a strike, the union said on Monday.

In a statement, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, which represents 480 editorial, advertising and circulation workers at the paper, said the two sides would sit down with a labor mediator on Thursday, extending the current contract by two days.

"There will be no strike, lockout or work-to-rule action earlier than midnight Thursday," the union said, adding that it would impose a news blackout ahead of the Thursday deadline.

The contract had been scheduled to expire at midnight on Tuesday.

The union also said the paper, which is a division of CTVglobemedia had agreed to not implement the terms of the latest contract offer or suspend any part of the collective agreement until after the new deadline.

Workers voted two weeks ago to authorize the union to call a strike if it can't negotiate a new contract. The main issues have been wages, which the paper wants to freeze for two years, and workers' pensions.

CTVglobemedia is owned by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan; Torstar Corp, which publishes the Toronto Star newspaper; BCE Inc, parent of Bell Canada; and the Woodbridge Co, an investment vehicle for Canada's billionaire Thomson family. Woodbridge is also the biggest shareholder of Thomson Reuters.

(Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson)