HuffPost Canada business reporter Rachel Mendleson has won the inaugural labour reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for a feature that explored the links between income inequality and the decline of unions in Canada.
The award, presented Saturday at the CAJ’s annual gala in Toronto, honours stories that advance public understanding of labour issues.
Mendleson traveled to St. Thomas, Ont., where she documented the struggle of workers from that city’s shuttered Ford assembly plant to find good jobs. She used their plight to examine the broader question of what impact the disintegration of organized labour has had on Canada’s growing income gap.
The story featured prominently in HuffPost’s ongoing 'Mind The Gap' series, edited by Daniel Tencer, which chronicles this country’s income divide.
"We're proud of the work Rachel has done on the Mind The Gap series and it reinforces our commitment to cover stories that fall outside of mainstream business news," said Kenny Yum, managing editor of AOL Canada and The Huffington Post Canada.
Mendleson thanked "everyone at Huffington Post for giving original reporting a go."
Other nominees for the award, which is jointly sponsored by the CWA Canada and its biggest local, the Canadian Media Guild, were the CBC’s Kim Johnson, Steve Buist of the Hamilton Spectator and Nicholas Hune-Brown of Toronto Life.
Several other CAJ awards were handed out Saturday night for excellence in television, newspaper, radio and magazines, including the categories of outstanding investigative journalism, photojournalism, human rights reporting and features. A full list of winners will be posted on the CAJ's website.