Montreal's La Presse newspaper is threatening to cease publication on Dec. 1.

A spokeswoman says staff were informed this morning that management and the union have three months to reach an agreement on cutting costs.

Full-time employees at La Presse have a 32-hour, 4-day work week.

Caroline Jamet, vice-president of communications for the paper, says that will have to change.

"There are maybe a handful of newspapers in North America that have these conditions," said Jamet. "We were able to provide them for many many years, but we are losing too much money and people have to work the normal work week."

Jamet says without the employee concessions, the newspaper would otherwise be unable to continue its day-to-day activities.

Eight unions represent employees at the paper, and they held a joint news conference Thursday afternoon.

Union brass say they were not surprised by the news, but were not happy that management advised employees through a company-wide email Thursday morning.

They are now trying to set up meetings with management to discuss the company's financial situation.

La Presse is the biggest French-language broadsheet in North America and has won plaudits for its extensive coverage of national and international issues, frequently expending resources to produce in-depth reports from all over the world.