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

Compensation expenses drop 32.5 per cent year over, but red ink continues to flow


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.

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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.