Members of the Halifax Typographical Union overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action this past weekend. The HTU said 98.3 percent of members voted in favour, with only one vote against and one not present. The union represents 61 newsroom employees at the Chronicle Herald.
Two days have now been set aside this week for last-ditch negotiations to try and stave-off a work stoppage. If a new collective agreement can’t be reached, Canada’s largest independently-owned newspaper will be on strike come Saturday.
The Herald has already filed to allow the paper to lock out newsroom staff with 48 hours notice. Reporters, photographers and editors have been asked to return company equipment like cameras, computers and cell phones by the end of the week. Staff bylines have also been removed “indefinitely,” and freelance journalists have been contracted by the Herald to replace reporters during a work stoppage.
On the same day as the strike vote, an open letter by Herald CEO Mark Lever was published in his newspaper claiming the current union contract is “unsustainable.”