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North America's largest French broadsheet threatens closure over salary cuts

North America's largest French broadsheet threatens closure over salary cuts

The newspaper, which is to celebrate its 125th anniversary in October, has been bargaining with its union for weeks for a new collective agreement that takes into account changes in the print media sector. It cuts its Sunday edition in July.

The publisher of La Presse, Canada's second largest French-language newspaper, threatened on Thursday to permanently stop the presses unless its 700 employees agree to deep salary cuts before December, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"We have three months ahead of us, enough time to discuss and sign a negotiated agreement allowing us to cut labor costs," Guy Creview, publisher of the Montreal daily, said in an email to staff obtained by AFP. "As of December 1, La Presse will simply no longer be able to continue publishing unless it significantly reduces costs," Crevier warned. "Without a solution by then, publication of La Presse will be suspended." [Link]

The newspaper, which is to celebrate its 125th anniversary in October, has been bargaining with its union for weeks for a new collective agreement that takes into account changes in the print media sector. La Presse cut its Sunday edition in July.

Like in other countries, newspapers in Canada have been grappling with a slide in advertising revenue, declining circulation and the migration of readers to free news online. The ultimatum at La Presse came as North America's premier French-language daily, Le Journal de Montreal, marked the ninth month of a staff lockout.

"We've developed a strategy to permit La Presse to migrate towards a new model and have agreements in place with financial institutions for new financing," Caroline Jamet, vice president of communications for the paper, said, according to an Associated Press report. "All that's left is the part of the employees, it's the only part left to complete the equation."

The AP report said: [Link]

La Presse, founded in 1884, could not afford to maintain its day-to-day activities under the current business model, she said. But she also expressed optimism that a deal could be reached with its 700 employees. La Presse is the flagship newspaper of Gesca Ltee, a wholly owned division of Power Corp. of Canada, that specializes in the publication of newspapers, Web sites, magazines and books.

Date posted: September 4, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 277