Toronto’s Now Magazine workers face possible lockout

No-board report set to be issued

Now Magazine has pushed its workers into a lockout situation, according to the union representing employees at the Toronto weekly newspaper.

Unifor 87-M, which represents 52 full- and part-time staff at Now, is concerned the company has escalated contract negotiations by requesting a no-board report from the province, which starts the clock on a possible company lockout or union strike.

Now and the union have been at the bargaining table since December 2015. In recent months, the company tried to re-bargain items already settled and added major new concessions, throwing talks into disarray, said the union.

"We remain sincerely committed to reaching a deal," said Jonathan Goldsbie, a staff writer at Now and chair of the bargaining unit. "We firmly believe in the paper, its social justice mission, and its crucial role in the city's landscape."

The union applied for provincial conciliation and voted 86.5 per cent in favour of calling a strike if necessary.

Shortly after July 19, the conciliator produced a recommended settlement, which the union accepted. The company rejected the settlement. The union then offered to go to binding arbitration. The company refused and called for a no-board report.

That report will place the company in a legal lockout position and the union in a legal strike position as of Aug. 27.

Unifor Local 87-M represents about 2,400 media workers across southern Ontario, including the Globe and Mail, Metroland papers and Postmedia daily newspapers.

Latest stories