Following disagreements between Gesca and its employees, the Canadian newspaper La Presse and its website, Cyberpresse may cease publication coming December. La Presse, the biggest French-language newspaper in North America, is owned by Gesca Ltée, a subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.
Since 2000, when Guy Crevier became its new editor, The Press underwent a drastic change. He hired young and up-and-coming journalists, modernized the design of the newspaper, added new sections and increased the international coverage.
Today, Guy Crevier is facing huge challenges to cut down the operating costs as the advertising revenues have dropped considerably. Not content with abolishing the publishing of its Sunday edition, publisher Guy Crevier hopes to make additional savings. Out of the $26-million to be saved, $13-million should cause annual concessions from unions.
With the reforms at stake, the 100 of positions to be suppressed will have an impact on the current working shifts. Now working 32-hour, four-day work week, 70% of full-time employees will eventually have to work for 5 days a week for 35 hours.
Justifying the changes, the management argues that “under its current business model, [the newspaper] has no chance for survival”.
The conflict has not apparently reached the make-or-break stage since both parties (the unions and the direction) are willing to find a resolution and avoid any radical decisions.
They have three months to come to an agreement.