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Beach-Riverdale Mirror reporter, Joanna Lavoie, wins 2015 labour journalism award

TORONTO — June 22, 2015

Metroland Media Toronto journalist Joanna Lavoie has won this year’s Unifor Local 87-M Labour Journalism Award for her coverage of a labour dispute at WoodGreen Community Services, one of Toronto’s oldest and largest social service agencies.

Lavoie’s reporting and photography took readers inside the first-ever strike at the 78-year-old east-end Toronto organization last year when 500 unionized staff walked off the job after half a year of negotiations broke down. Two weeks after hitting the picket line, the union and agency reached a new three-year deal.

“Ms Lavoie’s win shows that great labour journalism is happening across the media spectrum, whether at small weekly community papers such as the Beach-Riverdale Mirror, broadcast news or large daily newspapers,” said Paul Morse, president of Unifor 87-M.

“Her frontline reportage brings home how important labour issues are to people and the communities in which they live and work.”

This is the ninth year of the award, designed to recognize excellence in reporting about work-related issues. Past winners have reported on topics as far ranging as the plight of nannies, the impacts of right-to work legislation in the United States, and the demise of a historic Canadian steel mill. The award, open to Unifor 87-M members, has also been increased to $1,000, beginning next year.

Unifor Local 87-M represents 2,500 newspaper and broadcast workers across southern Ontario, including at Metroland community newspapers, CTV London, Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, London Free Press and Hamilton Spectator.

Unifor is the largest private-sector union in Canada representing more than 305,000 workers across all major sectors of the economy. It was formed in 2013 through the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP).

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Contact: Paul Morse, 416-461-2461 x 1.

Click to download press release.