Globe and Mail reaches tentative deal with union

Fri Jul 3, 2009 12:59am EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Globe and Mail newspaper has agreed to a tentative deal with unionized workers just ahead of a strike deadline, a union official said early on Friday.

Workers will likely vote on Monday on whether to accept the deal, Brad Honywill, president of Local 87-M of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, told Reuters.

The union represents about 450 workers at the national paper, which is a division of CTVglobemedia. Honywill declined to provide details on the agreement.

Workers voted two weeks ago to authorize the union to call a strike if it couldn't negotiate a new contract. The main issues in talks have been wages and pensions.

The original contract was set to expire on June 30, but the paper and union agreed to sit down with a mediator and extend the deadline to midnight Thursday in the hopes of hammering out a deal.

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.

Many newspapers and media companies have seen their fortunes turn sour as the economy went into recession and advertisers slashed spending.

To cope with the downturn, media groups have laid off staff and sought salary, benefit and other concessions from their remaining employees.

The Globe has not been immune. In January, it revealed plans to cut about 80 jobs through layoffs and voluntary severance.

(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Lincoln Feast)