October 22, 2008 / 2:12 PM / in 10 years

FP Newspapers suspends distributions due to strike

TORONTO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - FP Newspapers Income Fund FP_u.TO, publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press, said on Wednesday it will suspend further distribution payments until the end of a labor strike affecting its flagship publication.

Workers at the daily Winnipeg Free Press, the biggest newspaper in the Canadian province of Manitoba, and other community newspapers went on strike on Oct. 13 over pay, benefits and severance packages.

“The work stoppage started on Monday Oct. 13 and to date, eight publications of the Winnipeg Free Press and one publication of the weekly Canstar Community News Ltd newspapers have been cancelled,” FP said in a press release Tuesday. “Management and the union are negotiating in efforts to finalize new collective agreements.”

The FP fund said it will still pay its September distribution of 10.75 Canadian cents per unit on Oct. 30.

The Winnipeg Free Press is 49 percent owned by FP. Its units were down 7.8 percent to C$6.50 at the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning. (Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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