Friday, 28 September 2007

Strobel & the presses

Toronto Sun columnist Mike Strobel says it all for Sun vets as he bids farewell to the tabloid's proud presses and their keepers in today's Sun.

After tomorrow night's run, the Toronto Sun will be printed at Quebecor's new printing plant on Islington Ave., ending a 32-year almost flawless printing marathon at 333 King Street East.

Some call it progress, others call it just another step in the dismantling of the tabloid as it was in the Summer of 1975 when a proud bunch of Sun pioneers moved into their new building.

"The last official run here is tomorrow night, though the five old Goss Metros will be emergency backup," Mike says in his column.

That first run of the presses in 1975 was exhilarating and a feather in the cap of Sun co-founders Doug Creighton, Peter Worthington and Don Hunt.

Some employees remained long after their shifts were done to witness the magic of the presses. For the first four years of the Sun, the Sun was packaged at the old Eclipse Building and printed in Mississauga.

Going with the presses are more than 100 non-union pressroom and related jobs, some staffers losing their jobs after more than 30 years at the Sun.

One source told TSF the presses at 333 will eventually be dismantled and moved to other Quebecor facilities or sold for scrap and the vacant space will be used for other Quebecor needs.

"The presses have been sold, including one to Edmonton, another to another country and for scrap," said the source. "Very few pressmen are going to the other plant. They are taking their packages and moving on to other careers.

"I know one who is going into the auto repair industry. Most that are going up are mail roomers or paper handlers.

"Quebecor has already apparently decided other Quebecor companies are moving into the press room, but which ones, I have no idea, but I was assured that other presses were not coming in."

Thanks to Mike Strobel for giving the presses and their dedicated keepers a full column to say farewell. Both were the pride of the Sun.

TSF and fellow vets say thanks for the memories.

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