Postmedia outsourcing printing of London Free Press; union says 135 jobs lost

TORONTO – The union representing workers at the London Free Press says plans to outsource printing of the southwestern Ontario newspaper will cost 135 employees their jobs.

Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.A), which has announced a number of cuts and consolidations in recent months amid declining revenue in the newspaper business, says Metroland Media Group Ltd. will take over production of the newspaper this fall.

An exact date for the switchover was not disclosed.

Postmedia says the printing of other community dailies and weeklies now being done at the London facility will be moved to other company facilities.

The company did not say how many employees would be affected by the outsourcing deal.

Their union, Unifor Local 87-M, said 135 workers would be losing their jobs, including 61 full-time and 74 part-time printing plant workers.

“This is a tough, tough day for our London members and their families,” said Paul Morse, president of Unifor Local 87-M, which represents unionized workers at the London Free Press. “More than half the unionized workforce at the London Free Press is being put out of work.”

“We are extremely disappointed with the aggressive cost-cutting at Postmedia,” Morse added. “We’ve already seen Postmedia cut good-quality jobs by merging newspapers in Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary.”