Owner Glacier Media has announced that it’s shutting down the pressroom of the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria, British Columbia on September 30, leaving 18 press workers without jobs. “We’re saddened that this iconic newspaper on Vancouver Island will no longer be printed by Unifor Local 2000 members,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. The average years of service for those laid off is 19 years. “The press hall workers have a long history with our local and have helped trailblaze collective agreement rights enjoyed by other unionized employees at the paper,” said Brian Gibson, President of Unifor Local 2000 that represents the workers.
The company intends to contract its work to a facility outside of Victoria. Local 2000 is currently in negotiations to improve severance packages and to secure positions for the members in other areas at the newspaper. “This is a loss to the Island community. Most of our highly skilled members have spent their careers working for this company. These are good paying jobs and our members are a big part of the local economy,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s Western Regional Director. In 2017, Glacier sold the Times Colonist building at 2621 Douglas Street to a developer with plans to transform the press hall into a brewery. Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the Canadian economy.