In response to a slowdown in advertising sales, the Globe and Mail will be asking staff to accept unpaid furloughs this summer as one way to cut costs.
Details of the furloughs were not disclosed, and the company is working with the union to figure out how the system would work. The company has given employees a week to decide if they want time off.
“The union is on one hand glad we’re not talking about permanent layoffs because they’ve seen what’s happening in the rest of the industry,” (publisher Philip Crawley) said. “I don’t know how long this slowdown is going to last, and I hope by this fall we’re back to a regular level of business and everyone is back to work on a new year. At this stage I couldn’t give you an accurate forecast of that.”
Union chair Sue Andrew said she hopes the furloughs will help the paper control costs.
“We’re hopeful that the request for unpaid time off will significantly reduce the company’s need for further cost-cutting and that the company will hold talks with the Globe to minimize the effects of any temporary staff reductions,” she said.
While the article didn’t provide a specific number, a Globe reporter suggested on Twitter that up to 80 people could be involved, and that the leave periods would be for 12 weeks.
Cost-cutting isn’t limited to the Globe. Postmedia signed a deal with The Canadian Press and end its own wire service, leading to the loss of 25 jobs, according to the Globe in a May 7 story.
Postmedia is also looking at selling off its building on Don Mills Road in north-central Toronto and find some cheaper digs for the National Post and related staff.
In the April 12 Globe story, some other cutback news was noted:
Toronto-based newspaper Sing Tao Daily laid off 15 Canadian copy editors and translators this week, opting to do the work at its Chinese headquarters rather than keep the workers on staff. Reuters recently shut its Toronto online news desk, moving about 20 jobs to India.