Take Stock – July 7

Globe and Mail employees represented by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union have voted to approve new five-year contracts.

Union ratifies five-year deal at Globe and Mail

Globe and Mail employees represented by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union have voted to approve new five-year contracts.

The editorial, advertising sales, circulation and maintenance workers voted 85 per cent in favour of the new agreements. “We’re obviously happy to get the deal approved and move forward,” said Phillip Crawley, Globe and Mail publisher and chief executive. The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union said the deal preserves its defined benefit pension plan for existing employees, a key issue.

New hires will have a defined contribution pension plan. The deal includes a two-year general wage freeze followed by annual, general increases of two per cent in 2011, and 2.5 per cent in both 2012 and 2013. However, the union agreed to a reduction on shift premiums — such as time-and-a-half on holidays or Saturdays lowered from double-time. “It was a real saw-off,” said Brad Honywill, president of Local 87-M of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. “We both gave in reaching this deal. Both sides recognize that this is a horrible time to be in a labour conflict and both sides want the newspaper to prosper.”

Nortel eyed for rescue bid by private equity firm

Nortel Networks (TSX:NT) is being eyed for a rescue bid by private equity firm MatlinPatterson Global Advisors.

A source linked to the New York-based company has confirmed its interest in leading an effort to help the debt-riddled Canadian telecommunications equipment maker with its financial woes. Nortel has been operating under court protection from creditors since January. Company spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda declined to comment on the situation, saying Nortel doesn’t comment on rumours and speculation.

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