Print approval process offered on-line
MARKHAM, Ont. Toronto-based Maspix (www.maspix.com) debuted its Web-based proofing system called the Virtual Viewing Room here on Tuesday. The service is intended to speed up the print approval process by allowing up to seven people with sign-off capacity (art directors, production managers, print buyers, etc.) to simultaneously proof various aspects of a graphic document. Commercial printer PLM Group Ltd. of Markham, Ont., is a major shareholder of Maspix.
Southam unable to print its own paper
SURREY, B.C. When Southam-owned Pacific Press opened its new $180 million printing plant here in early 1998, it was hailed by one company official as the latest, greatest web offset plant in North America. So, when Southam launched its daily National Post in October of that year, surely Pacific Press would print the western edition, right? Wrong. The [on-press] folders were then really not up to snuff and we were reluctant to take on a whole new product on those presses until we got the folders there. Were still working on those. An awful lot has been done, said Pacific Press director of communications Don MacLachlan yesterday. For now, the plant prints Southams Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers. The western edition of the Post, meanwhile, continues to be printed by Transcontinentalprinter of the Globe and Mail.
Press workers union said pondering bid for daily paper
WINNIPEG The Winnipeg Free Press reported yesterday that the Graphic Communications International Unionwhich represents about 18,000 graphics industry workers in Canadahas expressed interest in purchasing the Thomson-owned daily newspaper. The Thomson Corp. announced last month that it will sell off all of its 130 daily and weekly newspapers in Canada and the U.S.excluding the Globe and Mailby June. Colin Lang, president of the GCIUs Local 900m in Winnipeg could not be reached for comment. The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union of Canada is also reported to be interested in acquiring the Free Press.
March 28, 2000
Creo wont kill Brisque for Prinergy
BURNABY, B.C. Despite media speculation to the contrary, Creo will continue to nurture the Brisque workflow management system it will inherit with the acquisition of Scitex Corp.s prepress division. Ive read a few journalists comments that theres no way Brisque and Prinergy can survive but there is no one-size-fits-all, said Creo VP of business strategy Dave Brown in an interview on Friday. When we start looking at Brisque and Prinergy, theyre both extremely solid workflow systems, but they actually do very different things.
Cosgrove-Moore to extend protection period
TORONTO One of Canadas largest trade binderies will seek court permission for more time to devise a comback plan. Well be applying for an extension this week, said Cosgrove-Moore Bindery Services CEO Carey Moore in an interview yesterday. Earlier this month, the company sought Bankruptcy Act protection when $2 million in demand loans were called following $1.3 in losses last fiscal year. Last week, the companys stock (CGM) was suspended from trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Moore said he couldnt comment on TSE reapplication plans. We cant really go around the court [trustee] at this point. We have to report there first. The Muller-Martini perfect binder which had been somewhat temperamental is now working like a top, Moore said, adding that customers have been very supportive. Were fully booked for the whole month of March. April is at least half-booked, which is more than what wed normally have booked at this time ... Were positive and working straight ahead.
March 24, 2000
TSE suspends binderys stock
TORONTO More trouble at Cosgrove-Moore Bindery Servicesit's stock (CGM) was suspended on the Toronto Stock Exchange yesterday at approximately 11:50 a.m. Cosgrove-Moore is one of Canada's largest postpress operations and perhaps the only publicly held trade bindery in North America. The company has failed to meet its listing requirements, said TSE spokesman Steve Kee, adding that financial matters were an issue. Cosgrove is currently utilizing Bankruptcy Act protection measures as it tries to mount a comeback plan. The shares closed at 20 cents and with 5.625 million of them outstanding, the company has a market capitalization of $1.125 million. The company can apply to be reinstated once it repairs matters. Otherwise, if the stock remains suspended for one year, it will be automatically delisted, Kee said.
Heidelberg TV ad to air on CBC NewsWorld
TORONTO When was the last time you saw a TV ad in Canada for a printing press manufacturer? Probably never, says Heidelberg Canada marketing manager Ernie Bardocz. Thanks to a unique ad-buying opportunity, Bardocz says Heidelberg Canada was able to purchase 56 ad spots on CBCs Newsworld during the month of April. The promo is a Canada-only initiative and not part of a global ad campaign. The 30-second clip features a montage of sequences beginning with depictions of archaic 16th century printing methods and ending with action shots of a modern printing plant. We wanted to make our buying industry more aware of Heidelberg and let the people who buy print and the people who recommend buying print become more aware of Heidelberg, says Bardocz. The ad is also meant to shatter myths. If you talk to most people who arent in the industry, their image of printing is still that picture of Benjamin Franklin turning the fly wheel or Gutenberg pulling down on the press, and we want people to know that the printing industry is a high-tech industry. Although Bardocz wouldnt say just how good a deal he got, a CBC Newsworld source said a typical 56-spot package runs anywhere from $27,000 to $32,000.
March 21, 2000
Yogurt king posts bail for Canadian printing exec
NEW YORK Canadian Jack Banksformerly a Toronto-based lottery ticket printer through his Laser Friendly Inc.walked out of his New York jail cell on Friday after 18 days in detention. Banks, also known as Jacques Benquesus, is charged with defrauding a bank of US$32 million. Yogen Fruz founder and friend Sam Serruya posted bail for BanksUS$5 million. Banks must remain in New York but is expected to return to his Toronto home as soon as Toronto police are in a position to keep tabs on him. Co-accused Larry Weltman, former CFO at Laser Friendly, made US$500,000 bail earlier last week and departed New York on Friday for his home Thornhill, Ont. Both men waived their rights to oppose extradition.
Calgary Herald pressmen set to bargain
CALGARY In just 10 days the collective agreement between about 50 Calgary Herald pressroom staff and Conrad Blacks Southam Inc. will come to an end. Representatives of the Graphic Communications International Union, Southam and an arbiter from Albertas labour relations board are conducting meetings this week to determine an outcome. Calgary Herald management are already coping with an editorial staff strike, now in its fifth month.
March 17, 2000
Hazeldine says union perpetrated big hoax
VANCOUVER Jack Hazeldine of recently bankrupt sheetfed printer Hazeldine Printing Ltd. dismisses union allegations that he was trying to sell-out his employees. As reported earlier, Robert Jennings of the Graphic Communications International Union said Hazeldine was attempting to extract a draconian labour contract to make his company a more attractive acquisition target. The whole thing is a big hoax, Hazeldine said this morning regarding Jennings theory. Hazeldine said that Quebecor Printing and others had expressed interest in buying his company, but he admitted no intention to sell. Rather, Hazeldine said he wanted to grow the business he inherited from his father. I didnt want any more [worker concessions] than what my non-union competitors have, he said. I told them [staff] that if I didnt get some sort of help, Im gonna shut it down and they knew that [before the vote]. Workers overwhelmingly rejected the terms of Hazeldines offer, which included wage rollbacks and freezes. The company had sales of $8.4 million in 1998, and $8.2 million in 1999, Hazeldine said. A sluggish economy and honest accounting errors imperiled the companys health. Unpaid wages and worker pension contributions will be remitted, Hazeldine promised.
Union head says Hazeldine offered worst contract
VANCOUVER Just weeks before Hazeldine Printing Ltd. declared bankruptcy on February 29, management sat down with Graphic Communications International Union representative Robert Jennings to reach a collective agreement, the last one having expired in April 1997. According to Nadine Coates, an agent of bankruptcy trustee Grant Thornton Ltd., the two parties just didnt jell. Not surprising, says Jennings, given Hazeldines demands: a 10% hourly wage reduction followed by a three-year wage freeze; the erasure of seniority provisions and more flexible lay-off protocols. Oh God, it goes on, sighed Jennings. About 24 of 26 GCIU members rejected the deal, he says. In his 40 years of contract negotiations, Jennings called it one of the worst contract offers Ive ever seen, adding that Quite bluntly, what I think they were trying to do was get the cheapest union contract in North America and sell [the company] to the highest bidder. Trustee Coates said owner Jack Hazeldine filed for bankruptcy well in advance of the deadline he had to mount a comeback plan. Calls to Jack Hazeldine were not returned.
Shorewood rescued by white knight
TORONTO Shorewood Packaging Corp., a New York-based high-quality retail package printer with three plants in Canada generating $251 million in sales on 1,000 employees in 1998, will likely be acquired by the worlds largest paper companyInternational Paper of Purchase, N.Y. The US$600 million cash deal is expected to close March 27. The Shorewood name will continue. International Paper executive Mark Sullivan could not comment yet on what impact the deal will have on Canadian operations. In an interview two days ago, Shorewood Packaging Corp. of Canada Ltd. executive VP Tom Shea said Shorewood severely resisted a hostile takeover attempt by Chesapeake Corp. International Paper came along and they were a better partner all way around, Shea said. The paper giant bested Chesapeakes $17.25 per share offer with a $21 per share clincher. International Paper will also assume US$275 million in Shorewood debt. International Paper is the largest private land owner in the U.S.
March 14, 2000
Printer ordered to pay $5,000 to gays, lesbians
TORONTO Nearly four years ago, Born Again printer Scott Brockie, owner of Imaging Excellence, refused to print business stationary for Ray Brillinger and his Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Brockie cited his Constitutional right to religious and conscientious freedom. But in a decision late last month, Ontarios Board of Inquiry decided that gays right to be free of discrimination based on sexual orientation exceeds Brockies right to act according to his conscience. Board Chair Heather MacNaughton ordered Brockie to pay $5,000 in damages. Brockie says he will appeal the ruling, all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, if necessary.
Stock exchange to review Cosgrove-Moore shares
TORONTO The common shares (CGM) of embattled bindery Cosgrove-Moore are slated to be reviewed by the Toronto Stock Exchange, says TSE communications manager Steve Kee. The intention to review, announced one week ago, will likely commence next week sometime, Kee said in an interview today. At the time of Cosgrove-Moores IPO on June 6, 1998, 5.625 million shares were offered at $1.15 each. By about 3:45 p.m. yesterday, 77,000 Cosgrove shares traded hands at 20 cents apiece.
Commercial printer shuts after 79-year run
VANCOUVER Hazeldine Press Ltd., a commercial printer founded in 1921 with sales in 1998 of $8.4 million on 50 employees, has gone bankrupt. Owner Jack Hazeldine could not be reached for comment. Phone callers to the business are greeted with the recorded phone message: Thank you for calling Hazeldine Press. The company is now out of business as it has filed an assignment in bankruptcy on February 29. Hazeldine specialized in annual reports and catalogues.
March 10, 2000
Cosgrove-Moore utilizes Bankruptcy Act protection
TORONTO To prevent foreclosure and a descent into receivership, Cosgrove-Moore Bindery Services found temporary refuge in section 69 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act last Friday, giving it 30 days to mount a comeback plan. The defensive move was executed after the Bank of Nova Scotia called $2 million in demand loans following $1.3 million in losses for fiscal 2000. The companys fourth quarter (Q4) has yet to play out. According to court trustee and BDO Dunwoody Ltd. president Uwe Manski, the bank also perceived some chaos in management ... and [the bank] lost faith in managements ability to work its way out of this thing. Cosgrove-Moore CEO Carey Moore attributes the losses to a malfunctioning Muller-Martini Corona perfect binder which was producing less than perfect results. He says the binder has since been repaired and is operating acceptably, just in time for the crucial annual report season.
The company also has legal problems. Its involved in litigation regarding the dismissal of CFO Dan Shepherdson last October, confirms the companys lawyer David Carbonaro.
Moore confirmed that Shepherdson is seeking compensation. Moore also said in an interview yesterday that two former employees misused company client lists in a plot to create a rival business enterprise. We found a full business plan on their laptops, Moore said. That [information] was all dated back till at least September [when they were still employees] ... on company machinery and on company equipment and with our customer list.
Cosgrove-Moore is one of Canadas largest print finishers with sales of $11.5 million in 1998 on 210 employees.
March 07, 2000
Canadian printing execs charged with grand larceny
NEW YORK Those in the lottery printing business might recall Jack Banks, 51, and Larry Weltman, 37, of Laser Friendly Inc.formerly a Scarborough, Ont.-based printer established in the early 90s and which served the Ontario Lottery Corp. Well, theyre in jail now, awaiting trial in New York facing charges of grand larceny and fraud. Laser Friendly reportedly transformed into GalaxiWorld.com Ltd., a public company which delisted itself from the TSE in 1998 amid class action lawsuits alleging stock manipulation. New York investment bank Coutts & Co. AG alleges GalaxiWorld.com borrowed US$32 million but withheld material facts which would have affected GalaxiWorlds eligibility. Coutts says it lost US$28 million.
Noxious ink fumes a problem at Moore plant
FERGUS, Ont. A switch from water-based to ultra violet ink has solved a noxious odour problem in the printing of federal cheques. It was a unique case, said Steve McLaughlin, manager of the payment standard division with Public Works and Government Services Canada. Employees at Moore Corp.s Fergus plant, which printed the prototypes last year, complained of objectionable and noxious odours. It was found that the water-based ink was not drying on the paper properly. There were no health risks, McLaughlin added. Look for the new cheques this May.
March 02, 2000
Nauseating images cant be printed, executive says
TORONTO Images of cancerous lungs and gums that Health Canada proposes to apply to cigarette packs can only be printed after presses have been upgraded, says Shorewood Packaging executive vice president Tom Shea. Shorewood prints about 55% of cigarette packs in Canada. Shea confirmed in an interview today that in order to reproduce the dreadful images, four-colour process printing is required. Problem is, the gravure presses currently running the jobs use pantone colours selected by the manufacturers. In the case of a duMaurier pack, Shea said, there is no yellow and only one spare unit on Shorewoods eight-unit press that prints the pack. He estimates that adding three more printing towers to accommodate the needed process colours would cost more than $2 million and even then the main drives might not be strong enough [to turn the additional cylinders]. Lithography is not an option as the ink laid down in that printing process is unstable and would taint the product. Health Canada spokeswoman Lynn LeSage said the government has more consulting to do.
Two Craftsmen chapters shut down
QUEBEC CITY Linguistic isolation has prompted the Quebec City chapter of the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen (IAPHC) to split with the association last December, says IAPHC CEO Kevin Keane. They found it almost impossible, he says. Meanwhile, Keane confirms that the IAPHCs Ottawa chapter officially ceased to exist last month. It had been in a state of suspended animation for the past three years, he says, due to declining membership and lack of volunteers. The IAPHC has 6,500 members in North America, including about 1,000 in Canada.
|Paul Kett says:|