Union says Globe and Mail must stop blaming employees for financial troubles

The union representing Globe and Mail employees said the company must stop pointing the finger at them for its financial struggles.

The union representing Globe and Mail employees said the company must stop pointing the finger at them for its financial struggles.

“There is no denying The Globe is struggling, perhaps failing financially. We get it. But a blame-shifting approach won’t fix The Globe’s very serious problems,” said Sue Andrew, unit chair at the Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild in a memo obtained by Christine Dobby at the Financial Post. “Characterizing Globe employees as having a sense of entitlement and suggesting that the collective agreement is somehow impeding the company’s success is negative, confrontational and counterproductive.”

Recently, the newspaper brought in a string of measures to cut costs. Several journalists left the company through buyouts. The newspaper ceased delivery in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as parts of B.C., decided against publishing a Labour Day edition and outsourced some of its page design to Pagemasters North America.

Related content on J-Source:

“There are issues and concerns on both sides that need fixing, including revolving-door senior management, disorganized and dispirited middle managers, loss of talent and declines in quality and customer service, to name a few,” the memo continued.

According to the Post, Andrew’s memo was sent out after a townhall meeting last week where senior management emphasized the need for employees to cut costs.

Earlier this year, employees at the Vancouver Sun and The Province heard a similar message when they told by newly appointed Pacific Newspaper Group president and publisher Gordon Fisher that they had to cut costs. In a four-page memo, Fisher said he wanted to give employees as "complete a picture" as they could get from him. And he asked his staff to consider what they're doing to make sure the company survives this downturn. 

“Please understand that we need your help. And if you do anything every day of the week let it be this: ask yourself if you are part of the solution or are willing to be part of the solution. lf you aren’t part of the solution, ask yourself why that is. We are all in this together and we are all lighting not only for the future of The Vancouver Sun and The Province, but for the lives and well-being of our families.”

Media commentator John Gordon Miller wrote at the time that “[w]hat I don't like about corporate bullies like Fisher is they're blaming the problems of the newspaper industry on reporters and editors, and not management's own failure to find a more sustainable business model.”