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Hamilton Spectator classified call centre closing, moving 24 jobs to the US

The new owners of the Hamilton Spectator have decided to close the classified call centre in October.

NordStar Capital took over Torstar, the company that owns the Spectator, 37 days ago and have already made changes with intentions to send up to 24 jobs in Hamilton to a firm in Buffalo, New York. 

There would be eight full-time and 16 part-time positions terminated at the Spectator on October 19th. 

Unifor, the union representing the individuals who are being laid-off, released a statement on Thursday condemning the actions by NordStar.

“Instead of sending more jobs out of the country, Unifor is proposing that Torstar invest in Canadian workers first and keep people in their readers’ communities employed,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Dias has requested an immediate meeting with NordStar owners Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett to see if there is a solution.

According to the Hamilton Spectator collective agreement, the union has six weeks to present an alternative plan to the scheduled layoffs. 

The union plans to bring forward a plan that would make Torstar a leader in classified services while keeping media jobs in Canada.

“We are stunned by the speed of this aggressive outsourcing move,” said Paul Morse, President of Unifor Local 87-M, which represents employees at the Spectator. 

“Less than three months ago when they were trying to buy Torstar, Bitove and Rivett promised shareholders they would invest in the Canadian media giant if they sold their shares to them and let them take the company private. This is the antithesis of that promise.”

Unifor is the largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 employees in most major sectors of the economy. 

Northstar acquired Torstar in July with 98.7% of the shareholders in favour of the takeover. The company officially took the reins on August 5th. 

Torstar owns many local newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator, Toronto Star, Waterloo Region Record, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune, and Peterborough Examiner. 

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