Torstar reverses planned job cuts

‘We remain committed to working in partnership with Unifor and other stakeholders’

Torstar reverses planned job cuts
Torstar had announced that 24 positions in Hamilton would move to Buffalo.

Torstar has reversed the elimination of 24 jobs at the Hamilton Spectator classified call centre, following collaborative consultation with Unifor.

"We're pleased that our union was able to work together with Torstar to find an alternative solution to moving these jobs to the United States so that Canadians can remain employed," says Jerry Dias, Unifor national president.

In September, the company had announced that the eight full-time and 16 part-time positions would move to Buffalo, with the workers scheduled to lose their jobs on Oct. 19. The workers are all members of Unifor Local 87-M.

However, discussion between Dias and Torstar's new owners Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett led to the cancellation of the job move initiated by previous ownership.

"When we took ownership a few weeks ago, we made it clear that our goal is to grow the business and our workers are a key part of that effort," says Rivett. "We remain committed to working in partnership with Unifor and other stakeholders to achieve that objective."

More than half (58 per cent) of employers that laid off staff due to COVID-19 are now planning to rehire in the next three months, according to a survey in August.

Torstar owns several newspapers including the Toronto Star, along with a large number of weekly community newspapers.

Dias also recognized Torstar’s efforts in providing young journalists with job opportunities.

"In recent years, it has been more difficult for young journalists to break into Canadian print journalism. The industry has taken a severe financial hit. Foreign internet giants such as Facebook suck up ad revenue without contributing jobs or taxes. The situation is now compounded by revenue drops thanks to COVID-19," said Dias. "Initiatives such as the resumption of the Toronto Star's paid internship program will help to expand diversity while providing young journalists with valuable experience as they get their foot in the door."

Changes to the rules around internships at federally regulated employers took effect Sept. 1.

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