Some of your colleagues are working on forming a union for National Post editorial staff. This may seem like an unusual step for National Post employees. Some might even consider this a hell-freezes-over moment. But NP editorial staff have no other realistic option. We need a union. Logic and common sense demands it.
Postmedia is forcing us to take a pay cut that will cost each of us thousands of dollars. The company is slashing our pay and benefits for a simple reason: it can. The company’s financial future is far from secure. Without a union, there is nothing to stop Postmedia from subjecting us to even more cuts in the future.
There are some strong emotions behind our union drive. Many National Post editorial staffers — award winning reporters, editors, designers, photographers, videographers and producers who are among the finest media professionals in the country — are angry they’re being forced to take pay cuts while Postmedia executives — whose recent track record of achievement is somewhat wanting — are collecting bonuses. There is no logic in rewarding failure and penalizing success.
But emotions aside, there is a powerful and practical need to organize a union. We’re not blind to the challenges in the media business or at Postmedia. Times are tough and the industry is in peril. It’s possible Postmedia could be forced to seek bankruptcy protection in the not too distant future. Unionized employees with collective agreements have stronger legal rights in that process. Editorial staff must secure that protection. We don’t want to get Sears-ed. (Sears Canada is using court protection as a means to layoff non-unionized workers without severance pay.)
The bottom line is clear. We are far better off with a union than without one. Postmedia has already proven it has no qualms with slashing pay for the non-union workers. A union is the only thing that can check this behavior.
As media workers, we believe in what we do, and we believe that we should be valued, treated with respect and fairly compensated.
We believe that we can reclaim some of our feeling of goodwill and teamwork and a sense of belonging as well as a will to work together to put out a good newspaper.
We want to work with National Post management in a spirit of integrity and mutual respect to produce the news and improve our workplace. Specifically, we are aiming to:
- Regain a sense of control—and even pride—about who we are and where we work.
- Gain the ability to collectively negotiate to keep and improve our pension, health benefits and parental leave.
- Create more consistency in salaries for similar work.
- Have more transparency and communication between management and employees.
We hope that you’ll join us.