Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Free daily, and free writers

A Toronto free daily newspaper has laid off all of its staff writers – but it won't be without copy for its pages because it will be using non-paid interns instead.

Metro, which has published in Toronto since 2000, terminated four unionized staff writers last week and two managers, citing economic reasons. The paper is owned by Torstar, which publishes the Toronto Star and Metro International, which publishes giveaways in a half dozen other Canadian centres as well as numerous cities worldwide.

A few days before the layoffs, Metro management brought in the interns. The union representing the laid-off writers says the labour contract allows interns to stay in the event of layoffs; however, it has launched five grievances over this.

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