Toronto Star newspaper says it has approved 166 severance package applications

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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TORONTO - The Toronto Star says 166 employees will take severance packages at the country's largest circulation daily newspaper as part of broad cost cuts.

Company spokesman Bob Hepburn said Wednesday that the Star accepted all of the applications made by staff from across its operations.

However, he stopped short of saying that this will wrap up job cuts at the newspaper for certain.

"All of this (will be) discussed with the union first," he said.

Earlier in the day, the Star confirmed that another 12 jobs had been eliminated at its operations, covering roles from editorial to management.

Hepburn said the layoffs include three editorial assistants, four graphic artists, a researcher and an office messenger. Also in the tally were two managers and one administrative assistant, which the company considered "departures" rather than layoffs.

Those employees have 90 days left at the company, under the union's collective agreement. During that period, the union could reach an agreement with the company, or find new roles for those employees within the organization.

Maureen Dawson, chairwoman of the Toronto Star unit of the Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild, said with some workers leaving voluntarily, that could mean other employees lined up to lose their jobs could instead find a new position at the company.

"That will be a discussion we'll be having in the coming months for sure," she said.

The cuts come as the newspaper's parent company, Torstar Corp. (TSX:TS.B), moves ahead with what it says will likely be the biggest restructuring in the Toronto Star's history.

Torstar had already announced plans to cut as many as 121 editorial jobs at the Star, which includes outsourcing some of its operations, in a move it says could save the company more than $4 million a year.

The Star employs about 1,300 staff across all its divisions, including its press centre in Vaughan.

Organizations: Toronto Star newspaper, Torstar Corp., Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild TSX The Star

Geographic location: TORONTO, Vaughan

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