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Sun, Citizen newsroom merger bad for Ottawa

Blow to editorial independence, says union representing Sun journalists

Ottawa — January 19, 2016

Postmedia’s shocking move to merge the Ottawa Sun and Ottawa Citizen newsrooms is a bad deal for the people of Ottawa and for Canadians in general, says Unifor Local 87-M, which represents journalists at the Ottawa Sun.

“The loss of editorial independence by making one newsroom produce two newspapers in Ottawa, as well as in other Canadian cities, is a blow to democracy,” said Paul Morse, president of Unifor Local 87-M.

“More than half of the Ottawa Sun’s journalists have lost their jobs today, effective immediately,” Morse said. “The union will assess its legal options and apply them vigorously as required.”

Less than 10 months ago, the Competition Bureau approved the sale of Sun Media newspapers to Postmedia on the assumption that the deal was unlikely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in any relevant market, Morse said.

“Clearly, separate and independent editorial voice went out the window today.”

Unifor Local 87-M represents news staff at the Ottawa Sun and inserters at the Ottawa Citizen among 2,500 media workers across Ontario. It also represents members at 12 other former Sun Media daily newspapers across the province, including the Toronto Sun and London Free Press.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.

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Contact: Paul Morse, cell 905-536-5650, paul@unifor87m.org.

Click to download press release.