As a strike at one of the Cowichan Valley’s weekly newspapers nears the 4 month mark, the union involved is raising questions about print media ownership on the Island.

The Cowichan News Leader is owned by Black Press.

Unifor  is striking over a dispute about a pay scheme that would give junior reporters less. And the union says Black Press is rejecting a call for mediation.

Peter McQuade is a National Rep with the union. He says with Black Press poised to buy the papers of a competing chain, they’ll have a near monopoly.

The deal has yet to be approved by the competition bureau.

Unifor also claims Black Press’ refusal to go to mediation is meant to send a message other unionized papers in the chain as their collective agreements near expiration.