News Leader Pictorial staffhit the picket line

Twelve employees at the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial newspaper in Duncan took to the picket lines on Monday in a dispute over proposed changes to their pay structure.

The strike is about blocking the implementation of a two-tier wage system by management, said Unifor Local 2000 representative Peter McQuade.

Right now, employees’ wages increase over time through a classification system. Management is trying to get rid of the top wage classifications for any new employees coming in, McQuade said.

"They want to take all the highest pay rates and classifications and eliminate them, so that any future employees never make that amount of money," he said.

Employees voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action.

McQuade said it was possible the paper would not be able to put out an edition for Wednesday, and the cancellation of the mid-week edition was confirmed Monday afternoon by advertisers. McQuade had no indication when the strike might be over.

"We might be in for a long dispute," he said.

In spite of sub-zero temperatures on the picket line, "they’re in good spirits," McQuade said. "At least the sun is shining."

Calls to the News Leader Pictorial’s editor and publisher were not returned by press time, but Randy Blair of Black Press told Chek News that unionized employees at the paper enjoy "a very good wage rate for this market area," and that it’s important for the company to stay competitive.

Just Posted

Kerry Park Islanders’ continued improvement leads to first win

Isles double up Westshore for first victory of 2018-19

Lake Flashback: Deadly crash, arena upgrade, Youbou stalwart retires

There’s lots of detail in this week’s stories

Rod Peters throws hat in the ring for mayor

Local businessman says current council too complacent

Cowichan Valley invited to take a Coffee Break to support local dementia services

Funds raised at the events will help support local programs and services

Friendship Cup gets high school field hockey going

Cowichan beats Shawnigan in shootout to win Premier Division

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Cowichan Coffee Time: 4H, a marathon and fundraising

• A group of 4H-ers had a woolly good time at the… Continue reading

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Most Read