star carriers got a surprise in their bundles last Friday: a strongly worded missive from Star home delivery manager Don O'Brien threatening them with dismissal if they're caught including union bulletins with the morning paper. Apparently, some Star subscribers received the bulletin with their paper. It says, among other things, that the Star is planning to contract out its home delivery and that service could be less reliable as a consequence.
It didn't take long for the paper to warn carriers that their attempt at publicity is "absolutely unacceptable" and that carriers could lose, along with their jobs, a $500 bonus they've got coming.
More than 2,000 carriers are currently embroiled in first-contract talks with the Star.
A strike deadline of March 17 has been set.
Howard Law of the Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild, the union representing the carriers, says the Star "is just trying to intimidate the shit out of people."
Catherine Yates, the Star's media relations head, says the labour board has already ruled that "it's not acceptable to deliver anything with the Star."
Yates also confirms that Globe and Sun carriers have been approached about delivering the Star in the event of a work stoppage. ENZO Di MATTEO