Postmedia execs must return bonuses: media union

OTTAWA – CWA Canada, the country's only all-media union, is calling on Paul Godfrey and other top Postmedia executives to return the $2.3 million in bonuses they are receiving as they prepare to lay off hundreds of employees.

CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said it is unconscionable that any boss would accept a bonus while dumping staff in a round of Christmas layoffs.

“This is an absolute disgrace,” O’Hanlon said. “The fact that it is even legal shows how broken our system is.”

“Godfrey has all but destroyed a once-venerable newspaper chain. And it’s not because newspapers aren’t making money – they are. It’s because he needs to feed profits to predatory hedge fund lenders who keep him in their pocket with these big bonuses.

“Why should people care? Thousands of jobs lost. A newspaper chain collapsing. Communities hurt. Journalism in decline. All so that rich investors can make yet more money.”

Postmedia revealed yesterday that the company’s five most senior executives are being awarded nearly $2.3 million in retention bonuses. The outrageous news comes as those same executives are in the midst of chopping 20 per cent of the company’s workforce — on top of already cutting 50 per cent. In all, Postmedia has cut more than 3,000 jobs in the last six years.

O’Hanlon predicted that the bloodletting will only hasten the company’s decline as readers abandon a poor-quality product.

CWA Canada is once again calling on the federal government to take action before it’s too late to prevent Postmedia from destroying the country’s major daily newspapers. The union is urging legislation or regulations to limit concentration of media ownership and prevent destructive leveraged purchases of important national companies.

CWA Canada represents about 6,000 media workers at companies across the country, including the CBC, The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters, and many Postmedia publications.

For further information, please contact:

Martin O’Hanlon, CWA Canada president, 613-867-5090