Canadian Newspaper Tries To Prevent Employee From Taking Unpaid Leave

File this one under “weird”: After the CanWest Global Communications Group ordered that its papers allow unpaid leave as cost-savings measures, the Victoria Times-Colonist tried to prevent a copy editor from doing exactly that. The copy editor requested the month of February 2009 off in November, and the paper claimed “disruption of the editorial department” despite the fact that only one other copy editor had requested time off in February—and only two days at that.

The Victoria-Vancouver Newspaper Guild took the action as a violation of its contract and took the matter to arbitration in March. The staffer got his unpaid leave of abscence—only two months late.

The funny thing? This whole brouhaha cost the company a lot more than it would have to just let the guy take his month off.

“During these difficult financial times for CanWest, the wasting of Times-Colonist profit (and Guild money) on an unnecessary arbitration flies in the face of sound financial practices,” said Chris Carolan, president of the guild, in a statement.