Why We're on Strike

One year ago, the Chronicle Herald pushed its experienced newsroom staff out on strike and replaced us with scab workers, many of them inexperienced and incompetent.

By refusing to bargain fairly, The Herald has effectively fired 54 workers, some with more than 35 years' service - with no severance.
Subscribers and advertisers are paying for sub-standard journalism as longtime workers picket and produce LocalXpress.ca, which has the highest number of 2016 Atlantic Journalism Award nominations for an individual newsroom in Nova Scotia.


NOT ABOUT MONEY: The Halifax Typographical Union offered The Chronicle Herald an across-the-board

five per cent wage cut that would amount to more than a 10 per cent hourly wage cut.

That was not good enough to satisfy the Herald’s demands for countless concessions.

ALL’S NOT FAIR: The union launched an unfair labour practice complaint against the Herald in mid-

November. The Herald is accused of insisting that anyone can do work normally assigned only to union

members and of constantly pitching proposals that are intended to be rejected. The company only backed

off some of those proposals following a meeting with the Nova Scotia Labour Board earlier this year.

NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS: Union members have pooled their experience and journalistic talents to

create the Local Xpress, a full-service online news site. The Herald, despite boasts of producing a quality

newspaper with replacement workers, provides significantly less provincial coverage while publishing

stories that lack depth and are fraught with grammatical and factual errors. All aboard the Xpress.

BY THE NUMBERS: The company boasts that it directly employs 500 people and 1,000 additional

contractors at the newspaper, the primary function of which is to gather and present news. Still, the

company contends that it must divest itself of 29 of its 55 unionized reporters, photographers, editors

and newsroom support staff to remain sustainable. The remaining 450 or so managers and non-union

staff seem impervious to layoff.

PENSION ATTENTION: Before negotiations began, the company identified pension relief as its major

demand. The union has complied, offering a move from the existing defined benefit plan to a targeted


ONE FOR THE AGES: The Chronicle Herald intends to lay off or get rid of more than half (29 of 55) of

its unionized newsroom employees. The vast majority of those targeted are over 50 and have worked

for the company for more than 15 years.

SIZE DOES MATTER: The company claims that advertising and subscription numbers have not suffered

during the strike. However, the number of papers printed, the size of the daily paper and the number of

ads have all fallen off significantly. Advertisers and readers are not getting what they pay for.

THE REAL DEAL: The company considers its contract offer to be one of the richest in the country.

That’s a simple fabrication. Still, producing the largest newspaper in Atlantic Canada in the region’s

largest city, the company should expect to compensate its newsroom and production staff accordingly.

JOB INSECURITY: The company says that it requires flexibility to remain sustainable in a rapidly

changing industry. The company equates flexibility with the ability to hire, fire and promote with no

regard for experience or ability.

MONEY MISMANAGEMENT: The Herald has spent about $1 million on legal fees and beefed-up but

unnecessary security during the year-long strike. Yet, it continues to lowball longtime and dedicated

newsroom employees on proposed severance payouts.