Canadian Media Guild

Canadian Media Guild

July 19, 2005 16:59 ET

87.3% of CBC employees vote in favour of strike action

Work stoppage possible in August Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 19, 2005) - More than eighty-seven per cent of CBC employees are prepared to strike, if necessary, to get a fair contract. The Canadian Media Guild's strike vote took place between July 8 and July 14.

This is the strongest strike mandate given to a union representing employees at the CBC in recent memory.

"This is very strong support for the Guild and a flat rejection of the revolving door approach to employment that the Corporation is putting forward," says Arnold Amber, the president of the CBC branch of the Guild. "We know that's not the right way to go about creating quality programming for the Canadian public."

The Guild is also encouraged by the fact that 67% of employees turned out to vote. "This is an incredible accomplishment for a mid-summer vote and speaks volumes about the dissatisfaction our members are feeling with CBC management's proposals," adds Amber.

The two sides have been at the table for more than a year to reach a single collective agreement covering, for the first time, 5,500 on-air, production, technical and administrative employees working at CBC outside Quebec. The employees were formerly in three separate bargaining units.

A major sticking point is the push by the Corporation to gain the ability to hire, without limitation, most new employees on a casual basis. Contracting out, employees' right to reassignment in the event of downsizing, and compensation for overtime are other key issues that remain unresolved.

According to federal law, the earliest a strike or lock out could be called is August 15.

"We want to use this strong mandate in the weeks ahead to get a deal at the table and we're prepared to work around the clock to do so," Amber says. "The Guild has never been on strike at the CBC. But I've been negotiating for 25 years and this is the worst set of proposals I have ever seen from the Corporation.

"The Guild will not accept a wish list from CBC management that we know is not necessary, or desirable, for quality broadcasting in the 21st Century."

The Canadian Media Guild represents media employees across Canada, including workers at Canadian Press/Broadcast News, Reuters, TVOntario, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, VisionTV, and Toronto 1. The Guild also recently applied for certification to represent technical employees at Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting.
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Contact Information

  • Arnold Amber, CBC Branch President, Canadian Media Guild
    Primary Phone: 416-205-7847
    Secondary Phone: 416-578-1651
    Toll-Free: 800-465-4149