by: CWA-SCA Canada | Press release:
OTTAWA, July 16, 2013 - CWA Canada is urging Sun Media to reverse its self-destructive plan to cut hundreds more jobs, and to instead focus on quality local jobs and journalism to boost profits.
The Quebecor-owned company announced today that it is cutting 360 jobs and closing 11 publications. This comes just eight months after it cut 500 jobs across the country and closed production plants in Ottawa and Kingston.
CWA Canada, the union that represents workers at several Sun Media newspapers, lamented last year that the company is “killing itself by abandoning quality jobs and journalism” and urged it to invest in quality to improve its fortunes.
Alas, it appears the slash-and-burn strategy continues, which will only lead to a slow death.
In her note to employees today, in a spectacular example of Doublespeak, Sun Media COO Julie Tremblay trumpets that Sun Media will “continue to focus on great journalism.”
“And how will they do that?” asks CWA Canada Director Martin O’Hanlon. “By laying off journalists!”
“I’m still waiting for someone to show me how you produce better journalism with fewer journalists. To suggest it’s possible is either delusional or dishonest — neither bodes well for Sun Media’s fortunes.”
O’Hanlon maintains that cutting jobs is a suicidal strategy that only hurts quality and does nothing to attract readers or generate revenue.
He notes Quebecor talks a good story about its commitment to the communities it serves, but everything it does — from cutting local jobs to producing sub-standard local news — is bad for those communities.
O’Hanlon once again suggested that Quebecor borrow a page from legendary investor Warren Buffett who is busy buying newspapers in the United States and committing to quality local journalism as the key to success.
CWA Canada is the country’s only media-specific union, representing 7,000 workers at companies such as the CBC, The Canadian Press and newspapers coast to coast.