News Leader strike drags on into second week

Striking News Leader Pictorial staff were joined on the picket line in Duncan on Monday afternoon by dozens of supporters.

The newspaper’s union staff, represented by Unifor Local 2000, went on strike last week for the first time in their history.

The show of support meant a lot to those who remain off the job.

"We’ve been feeling the love, getting a lot of support from your random people that honk, and stuff like that but a lot of our union members and people from affiliated unions have come and joined us all week and it’s been great," said News Leader employee Eric Morten.

National Unifor representative Peter McQuade said they put a proposal to Black Press management at a meeting last Tuesday, but have heard nothing since.

"This is exactly what we need to bolster the members’ spirits," he said of the support shown at the rally Tuesday. "Most of the members here have never been on strike before."

The strike centers around blocking the implementation of a twotier wage system.

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.

"It’s a bad way to go," Morten said. "See the guy waving the flag over there? That’s my son. It’s bad for him and it’s bad for any other kid living in this Valley, who wants to come in and be in the industry."

"Basically what it does is it serves to depress wages across the board," he said. "Because if good jobs don’t pay well, what are bad jobs going to pay?" The News Leader Pictorial’s editor and publisher were not in the building Monday to comment.

Randy Blair of Black Press told CHEK News last week 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Water in Lake Cowichan just fine, says acting mayor

Tim McGonigle said there is no truth to rumours of water advisories

Cowichan Caps help BCHL score commitment record

The BCHL saw 172 players commit to post-secondary institutions this past season

Murray Hatfield and Teresa present evening of magic and comedy streaming live May 29

The Duncan Volunteer Fire Department is inviting you to an evening of magic and comedy

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Woman charged in fatal accident back in court on June 2

Sara Rosetta Thomas faces six charges in 2018 incident

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read