London ‘Free Press’ Printing, Packaging May Remain On Site

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By: E&P Staff

The 175 pressroom, mailroom and maintenance employees at The London (Ontario) Free Press may be able to keep their jobs if the paper and the workers’ union can successfully argue their case to keep the daily’s printing and distribution center open.

Production employees received layoff notices in July, the result of a decision made two years earlier by the paper’s corporate parent, Quebecor Media, to print the paper at a new state-of-the-art facility it owns about a hundred miles away in Islington, near Toronto.

The layoff notices have been rescinded for now, while the paper prepares a business plan to keep its London pressroom open. Free Press publisher Susan Muszak says she will meet in coming days with the paper’s union to discuss the plan. The union’s contract expires on October 3.

In a letter to readers informing them of the reprieve, Muszak points out that the Free Press has been produced where most readers live — in the southwestern region of Ontario — for the past 158 years.

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