Media

Chronicle Herald strikers rally to get back into newsroom

Rally marks Day 263 of journalists’ strike

Chronicle Herald strikers held a rally in front of employer's office on Tuesday. (Photo by Caora McKenna)
Chronicle Herald strikers held a rally in front of the newspaper’s offices on Tuesday.   Caora McKenna

Flags were raised as dozens of people rallied in support of strikers outside the Joseph Howe Drive offices of the Chronicle Herald on Tuesday – Day 263 of a journalists’ strike.

On the picket line, Herald photographer and president of the Halifax Typographical Union, Ingrid Bulmer, says the strikers are committed to getting back to work. They want to make the Herald “the paper of record again.”

(Video by Caora McKenna)

Bulmer says the 56 striking newsroom staff members have offered the Herald a “fair contract,” with wage reductions for workers, but the contract the employer is pushing would render the union “completely helpless.”

“We would be a union in name only,” says Bulmer.

Ingrid Bulmer spoke to a crowd at the rally. (Photo by Caora McKenna)
Newsroom union president Ingrid Bulmer spoke at the rally.   Caora McKenna

Striker Bill Power, a Herald business reporter for 32 years, hopes “reason prevails.” He says the strike is costing strikers their homes, young people their education, and it’s dramatically affecting their lifestyle.

“We want the employer to come to the table over the next few days and approach the situation maturely and reasonably,” says Power.

Power says the strike is defensive, meaning that the union “isn’t looking for higher wages.”

“We’re looking to limit the salary reductions we’re facing.”

Striker Stephen Forest, Herald page editor for 30 years, holds up sign. (Photo by Caora McKenna)
Striker Stephen Forest, Herald reporter and page editor for 30 years, holds up sign.   Caora McKenna

Drivers of cars and buses honked as they drove past the rally, while strikers shook hands with people passing by.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill was among many speakers who gathered on the grass in front of the Herald’s sign, outside the building housing the newspaper’s offices.

Burrill offered support to the strikers on behalf of his party. He says the NDP will not give interviews, press releases or have any other contact with the “scab version of the Herald.”

Atlantic Regional Director for Canadian Labour Congress, Alex Furlong, took the microphone as the crowd joined in his chant: “So, so, so, solidarity!”

To end his speech, Furlong addressed the owners of the Chronicle Herald, even though they weren’t in attendance.

“To Mark Lever and Sarah Dennis to understand,” he said, “we’re not going anywhere.”