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Postmedia tells Unifor local of buyout, layoff plan to cut Vancouver salary expenses

VANCOUVER — Postmedia has notified unionized employees in Vancouver that it wants to reduce salary expenses there by 15 per cent through a voluntary buyout program or layoffs.

Unifor Local 2000 represents Postmedia employees at the Vancouver Province and Vancouver Sun — separate daily newspapers in British Columbia's biggest city.

The number of Postmedia employees involved with the downsizing wasn't immediately available.

It's the latest cost-cutting initiative this year at Canada's largest newspaper group, which also owns the National Post, Toronto Sun and other digital and print publications.

Conventional media businesses across Canada saw a major drop in advertising revenue after the COVID-19 closures in the pandemic's first wave.

Financial results issued last month by the Toronto-based company says it ended its 2020 financial year on Aug. 31 with a $16.2 million loss over 12 months, compared with a $6.3 million loss in fiscal 2019.

For the full year, Postmedia's compensation expenses, which include salaries and wages,  fell 32.5 per cent or $72.8 million to $151.2 million for the year ended Aug. 31. 

Excluding the impact of the federal COVID wage subsidies and journalism tax credits, Postmedia's compensation expenses fell $35.0 million, or 15.2 per cent from last year. 

— by David Paddon in Toronto

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020

Companies in this story: (TSX:PNC.A, TSX:PNC.B)

The Canadian Press