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Editorial jobs go in Toronto, New York, Chicago - reports

Reuters is moving its Canada-based online desk to India. Some 17 jobs out of 22 in Toronto are affected. Five positions will remain there. The rest will be taken up in Bangalore. At the same time, other editorial jobs " including those of managers " have also been cut in New York and Chicago this week.

The Canadian Media Guild, which represents about 60 people in Reuters’ Toronto office and others across Canada, said 17 permanent and five temporary workers were being cut. They were people who posted news stories and pictures to the Reuters website. The online operation has been based in Toronto since 2005. After the cuts, it will have five employees there. The cuts affect roughly one-third of Reuters’ editorial operations in Toronto, said the Guild.

Reuters said it had greatly increased the number of website staff over the last eight months. “As part of restructuring of our production staff, we’re moving some roles in our global online newsroom from Toronto to Asia. The online visuals desk remains in Toronto,” the company said in a statement.

Staff in New York and Chicago were also laid off. The Newspaper Guild of New York said: “In one of the shabbiest moves made by this increasingly shabby company, seven of our Guild colleagues at 3XSQ and one at the Chicago office were laid off on Monday, December 12. Members of the client administrator group – some of whom have worked here for over 30 years – walked into the office Monday morning only to be told, twelve days before Christmas, ‘Your job is gone, as of today.’

“As soulless as this layoff of Guild members was, it was better than what happened to a handful of editorial managers this week. Upper management simply picked a few and sent them packing. If there’s any question about the worth of union membership, the answer can be found at the empty desks of managers who had no Guild contract.”

It added: “This seems standard operating procedure for this new administration: long chirpy emails from the top brass on how well we’re doing and how much high-priced talent we’re hiring, but public silence on the forced departures of the workers who have created this success. There’s one printable word to describe it: shabby.” ■

The Toronto Star