WINNIPEG, MANITOBA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/15/13 -- FP Newspapers Inc. (TSX: FP) today announced that at a meeting held yesterday, unionized employees and contracted delivery carriers of the Winnipeg Free Press and unionized employees of Canstar Community News voted in favour of accepting a new five year collective bargaining agreement to take effect on the expiration of the existing contract on June 30, 2013. The new agreement includes wage increases of 0.5% on July 1st in each year from 2014 through 2016, with a further 1.5% increase effective July 1, 2017 and increased employee contributions to the defined benefit pension plan. Employees hired after June 30, 2013 will be at reduced salary levels and eligible to join a multi-employer pension plan with a fixed company contribution.
"We're pleased we were able to reach an agreement in advance of the expiration of the current contract," said Bob Cox, Publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press. "These new agreements help build a stronger foundation for our newspapers as they continue to transform. We would like to thank the bargaining committee of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union for working with management to structure our collective agreements so that they protect the interests of employees while recognizing that the newspaper industry is changing rapidly," said Mr. Cox.
"We appreciate the collaborative efforts demonstrated by both the union bargaining committee and the senior management team in reaching this agreement," said FP Chairman Ronald Stern. "While the business and industry will continue to face challenging times, the ratification of this new contract shows the desire and ability of everyone to work together to seek out ways to adapt and change to best face these challenges," said Mr. Stern.
The collective agreement covering the unionized employees at the Brandon Sun expires on December 31, 2013. Negotiations for the renewal of that contract will start over the next few months.
FPI owns securities entitling it to 49% of the distributable cash of FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership ("FPLP"). FPLP owns the Winnipeg Free Press, the Brandon Sun, and their related businesses, as well as the Canstar Community News division, the publisher of six community newspapers in the Winnipeg region, The Carillon in Steinbach with its related commercial printing operations, and the Carberry News Express weekly publication. The Winnipeg Free Press publishes six days a week for delivery to subscribers and single copy sales, serving Winnipeg and Manitoba with an average Monday through Saturday circulation of approximately 111,200 copies. On Sundays the Winnipeg Free Press publishes a newspaper sold through single-copy retail outlets and vending boxes. The Brandon Sun publishes six days a week, serving the region with an average circulation of approximately 12,475 copies. Canstar Community News publishes weekly with an average circulation of approximately 200,000 copies. The businesses employ approximately 540 people in Winnipeg, Brandon, Steinbach and Carberry Manitoba. Further information can be found at www.fpnewspapers.com, and in the disclosure documents filed by FP Newspapers Inc. with the securities regulatory authorities, available at www.sedar.com.
FP Newspapers Inc.
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