Saturday, 29 September 2007

A grim goodbye

The faces of seven Toronto Sun pressroom workers in the photograph used for Mike Strobel's column Friday speak volumes for Quebecor's complete lack of compassion for employees.

The seven workers are among the 100 or so non-union employees who will lose their jobs when the five Goss Metros are silenced early Sunday morning.

In contrast to numerous photos taken of pressroom workers since the presses first rolled 32 years ago, there are no broad smiles reflecting the pride of a job well done.

They all look disillusioned and saddened by the loss of their jobs and pissed off for not being given first dibs on pressroom jobs at Quebecor's new printing plant.

Collectively, their expressions can be summed up in three words:

Up Yours Quebecor.

The pressmen and their presses have been the pride of the Sun since the summer of 1975, so much so that many of the Sun's annual reports and anniversary editions have included their photos.

The late, great Doug Creighton would weep if he were here to witness the treatment of the dedicated pressmen, some part of the Sun family for 30-plus years.

But Doug, and most other Sun pioneers, had a lot of heart and considered every employee in every department a key player in the success of the tabloid.

Quebecor just doesn't care about employees and their lives.

The Toronto Sun building at 333 King Street East is becoming a tomb thanks to Quebecor's unrelenting dismantling of everything that made the Sun a North American media success story.

Come Monday, the Toronto Sun becomes just another product to print among other Quebecor printing obligations, including huge numbers of telephone books.

TSF has been told the Sun printing time will not be flexible, so we can only wonder how that will affect late-breaking news, final sports scores and evening concert coverage.

Will editors be allowed to stop those new presses for updates and corrections with a phone call, or are replates history? Will news and sports coverage suffer?

It doesn't bode well for Toronto Sun readers and Sun employees who want the tabloid to remain a news, sports and entertainment competitor in Toronto's tough newspaper market.


  1. "We can only wonder how that will affect late-breaking news, final sports scores and evening concert coverage"

    You need look no further than Ottawa for your answer.

    The move to the Mirabel press has resulted in papers missing late sports scores and a newsroom that is all but empty by 11:30 p.m.

    Think deadline before it's dark and you will be on the right track.

  2. I was told by one of the outgoing pressmen that with over 33 years of service that he was NOT qualified to work up at the new press building. I find that very VERY wrong.