Yesterday, FTVLive told you that Canadian station CHCH had filed bankruptcy, canned a number of staffers and dropped a bunch of newscasts.
Yesterday, the station was back to business with a very slimmed down staff. Of the 150+ plus staffers that were kicked to the curb, 81 of those employees were offered jobs with a new company.
Monday, the union that represented CHCH news workers said that new company can't escape the union contracts the workers had before Friday's restructuring.
The new corporation offered 58 full-time and 23 part-time jobs to some of the workers let go. As of 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, 77 of those offers had been accepted, said Chris Fuoco, vice president of sales and marketing for Channel Zero, CHCH's parent company. The employees of the new company will produce a vastly reduced schedule of local news programming.
Employees who lost their jobs said the abrupt way they were treated added to the pain of being let go. They'll have to get in line as creditors in the company's bankruptcy proceedings for any severance their contract says they're owed, Liz Marzari a union rep said.
Veteran weatherman Matt Hayes spoke about the cuts on his morning radio show. He said he understands broadcasting is a difficult business to keep afloat.
"It's OK," he said. "It happens. But I think the thing that really stung in all that was there is no severance. And, you know, especially at this time of year, that's really hard."
Marzari had stronger words.
"I think it was a despicable way to treat long-serving loyal employees," she said.
Hayes said there should be laws to keep companies from declaring bankruptcy and immediately forming a new version to go on like nothing is wrong.
Fuoco told CBC News that workers were paid out any accrued vacation, expense reimbursements and regular pay on Friday, and he said no employee received less than $4,000.
But multiple full-time employees who lost their jobs told CBC News that they received less than $4,000.
Fuoco did not comment on the employees who say they got smaller deposits than he'd told the press about. He said employees should direct such questions to CHCH Human Resources.