Sunday, 12 April 2009

Trash talk

Peterborough Examiner employees have been asked to take out their own trash now that the veteran cleaning lady's hours have been slashed, says a TSF tipster.

The tipster writes:

"Employees at the Peterborough Examiner have now been asked to be custodians as well as writers, editors and photographers. The contract cleaning lady who has been at the Examiner for years and years just had her hours cut way back.

"To compensate, the publisher has asked that staff take out their own trash. In the hallway leading into the newsroom, there are several big blue bins labeled 'paper, plastic and garbage.'

"A number of employees are insulted and disgusted at this latest cost-saving measure. Last we checked, custodian wasn't in our job description.

"On top of this, it's rumoured we are losing our water cooler. I guess they would rather us pay $1.50 for water from the vending machine."

Nothing PKP does to squeeze more nickels and dimes out of his newspapers surprises us these days. Slashing the hours of a cleaning lady is just another insult.

When, oh when, are Sun Media employees going to stop what they are doing and shout "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."

Howard Beale would be oh, so proud.

As he said: "All I know is that first, you've got to get mad. You've gotta say, "I'm a human being, goddammit. My life has value."


  1. As a fictional character, it is unlikely Howard Beale would feel any emotion.

  2. In reference to the water cooler, Peterborough's tap water is notorious for its skunky, dirty taste. Even the poorest residents in the smallest apartments use bottled water or filter systems. City council is examining a bottled water ban at city owned facilities, but it's meeting opposition because voters know you can't just bring your own and fill it from a tap without adding a sour taste to the latest Petes season (not a challenge, actually). The water is undrinkable. Any business that even pretends to care about its employees would at least ensure there was drinkable water on site. It costs next to nothing and keeps staff healthy, which pays off in the long run.

  3. Join the club. We've been doing it in Alberta for about a month now.

  4. That is unbelievable! Actually with the way PKP is running things, maybe it isn't that unbelievable after all. Wonder how long before it hits the other papers.

  5. Might I suggest coin-operated bathroom stalls to help boost profits, Pierre?

  6. I think PKP has outdone the original cheapskate in the newspaper world, Roy Thomson. Everyone has probably worked for a Thompson newspaper in their
    career, well all of us older than dirt guys anyway. There are probably a lot of "how to cut costs" stories. Here's mine.

    I worked for the Brampton Daily Times back in the early '70s, and it was quite an education.

    If you needed a new pen, you had to take your old one to the publisher who would examine it and then issue another.

    There were no notebooks, just ends of newsprint rolls, cut into sheets and stapled together.

    We had no idea what a water cooler was, because Thomson papers never had them. The only reason the buildings were air conditioned was because it was
    so warm because of the hot lead type setting system.

    As a photographer/engraver (it was part of our job description that we operated the Fairchild photo engraver) we had to bulk load 35 mm film, no nice packages of Kodak Tri-X for a Thomson photog.

    And, when the Brampton paper went offset, I envisioned pushing that Fairchild engraver off the back roof because it had seen better days. It was
    a cantankerous machine prone to breaking down, and was on its last legs when we had it.

    Nope, it got shipped to a poorer newspaper in Kirkland Lake. Years later, when reporter Ian Robertson and I were sent to this community to cover a
    mining disaster, that machine was still there.

    Bill Sandford

  7. Hey, taking the trash out to the hallway is the least of it...I'm working in a hallway, having to take my trash to the big green bin out back and will eventually shirk on the volun-told job of taking out recycling from the office to the recycling centre three miles away.....Things get any worse, I might as well get a janitor job somewhere, because it'll likely pay more

  8. You people are ridiculous. You're lucky you still have work. God-forbid you have to dump your own trash.

    I understand cuts have been made but it could be a lot worse for some of you. Be happy you still get paid tens of thousands to write and occasionally throw our your own garbage.


  9. Yes, it's unfortunate people have lost their jobs. But at other companies that have suffered cutbacks, have you heard about them being asked to gather up garbage on top of their regular work?

    I was hired to be a journalist, not a garbage man.

  10. Your full of ego and need a dose of the real world. You have no idea what real working people have to do these days. You probably can't handle two minutes of real work anyways.

  11. The Daily Herald-Tribune in Grande Prairie has been without a newsroom water cooler for, oh, the last six years or so. Not really sure why it was taken away, considering the last five or six years were probably the five or six most profitable years the paper ever had.

  12. Tens of thousands??? who gets paid that? Give me that job! I hate to tell you honey....but most journalists don't even make $30,000/year in community papers. Care to retract your snotty comment?

  13. Water coolers went in Edmonton last week. A real morale-booster.

  14. The semi-literate person ('your' instead of 'you're?' Let me guess, you used Spellcheck) who thinks, 'anyways', we need "a dose of the real world" is, unfortunately, symptomatic of what's going on out there recession-land. It's all the fault of anyone you think is making a few dollars an hour more than you. It's teachers and journalists and auto workers and others you've been encouraged to blame for your shitty situation instead of the obvious culprits, people who contribute nothing but move huge sums of money around and who turned you into collateral damage when they screwed up. And in answer to your presumption, I'm from Northern Ontario and started out driving a forklift.
    Keep the sled-dogs nipping at each others' heels. Soon there'll be no more actual news and nothing to disturb you.

  15. To the anonymous who posted at 7:36 p.m. - before you open your mouth, make sure you know what you are talking about. Sure, there are journalists have never worked in anything but this field, but there are also many who have worked in the real world before they started this career. I've worked in a number of factories and worked construction, so don't talk to me about ego or handling two minutes of 'real work', whatever that means.
    I'm assuming you're not a journalist, but I could be wrong. Just wondering, if you're not a journalist, when the last time was you had to call a family to get comment about a relative who has was killed (by whatever means) or had cops up in your face screaming at you while you were just trying to do your job.
    I am sick of people thinking this job is easy. It's not the hardest in the world, like say being a coal miner would be, but it's tough enough. And just like any other 'real' jobs, it has its ups, downs and all the rest.
    Want to switch jobs, bet I could do yours for more than two minutes. I'd love to see how long you'd last at mine.

  16. Heaven forbid workers taking out their own trash, bringing their own water and possibly recycling on their own!!!!!

    They may as well put chains on you and and strap you to your desks!!!!

    Get off your butts and take the trash out. Next you'll be complaining there aren't towel boys in the restrooms!!!

    Last I checked $30,000 WAS tens of thousands. Check out this....10,000 x 3 = 30,000..that means there are multiple tens of thousands in 30,000.

    A trash man

  17. Ohhh man ... whoever you are, I hope you don't lose your job. I was fortunate to have survived twice in this company - so far. I haven't always been so lucky. And here's a little tidbit for you to chew on. Sure my before tax (and the little benefit I get to keep) is about 30K, but you try and live anywhere but Saskatchewan or Manitoba and raise a family without a second income. It won't happen. As for taking out the trash, it's not only not my job, but the last thing I want to have to do after spending 50 to 60 hours in a week (no overtime here, heck even the labour board tells them they don't have to pay it to us) is take out everyone's trash or recycling. Oh and here's another guess about you - you're a union person right? Not everyone in this business has that luxury. Check your ego and self-righteousness at the door and go back to the union gig where you likely don't really have to work if you don't want to.

  18. Talk about misdirected hostility!
    If it makes you feel any better - the union employees have also been directed to look after their own trash.
    And with our work force slashed - I can assure you, we work regardless of whether we want to or not.

  19. How is wanting to take out your OWN trash, volunteering to bring your OWN water, recycling your OWN paper, doing without towel boys in the restroom, and being happy to have what you have when so many others lost all they had 'self-righteousness?'

    If your not happy with your pay you can always find another job?

    I'm very satisfied with somehow staying clear of layoffs and feel for those who lost their jobs.

    That's why I refuse to slap them in the face by complaining about water coolers, trash and not being paid enough.

    Good Day

  20. Is the hostile person posting here ...

    A) A non-journalist? If so, perhaps this person shed some light on his/her workplace and how comparably better/worse it is. One-sided complaints without a sound argument towards "the other side" mean diddly squat, IMHO.

    B) A Sun Media employee, past or -- dare I say -- pressent?

    C) Sun Media management?!?!

  21. Update:

    A) A non-journalist? If so, perhaps this person CAN shed some light on his/her workplace and how comparably better/worse it is. One-sided complaints without a sound argument towards "the other side" mean diddly squat, IMHO.

    B) A Sun Media employee, past or -- dare I say -- PRESENT?

    C) Sun Media management?!?!

  22. This only part of their "Cost" cutting schemes, the other good one is.. No flowers for a deceased employee this is to come out of any Social committee expense.

  23. No flowers? That's disgusting and just downright pathetic and classless. What would a family member who loses a loved one think of this?

    I shall die at my desk working my ass off for this company. Will someone just make sure my rotting body gets taken out with the trash.