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Arnold Amber leaving CBC, union presidency

I would like to take this opportunity to inform all Canadian Media Guild members that I will be leaving the CBC and my post as President of the CBC Branch of the CMG at the end of October.

My departure will mark the end of a long involvement in union activity at the CBC. Over the years, I have worked both in the Guild and, for a number of years, with the Toronto Television Producers’ Association. I will still be involved in union work after I leave the CBC. In November, I will become the full-time Director of TNG Canada/CWA, the parent body of the CMG and 25 other smaller union Locals that mostly represent employees in the newspaper industry. In that position, I will be continuing my association with CMG members, albeit at a different union level.

On announcing my departure, may I extend a heartfelt thanks to the countless number of union members who have aided me and the Guild. The CMG is filled with intelligent, creative, determined and very interesting women and men. When we faced the ultimate test during last year’s uncalled-for lockout, we showed ourselves, other labour unions, and, most important, the Canadian people how good we are. We were wonderfully inventive, incredibly effective, and wholeheartedly committed in our resolve.

Let me also wish all CBC members the best in the future. I remain convinced that a strong and demanding membership makes a better union. And a better union, defending everyone’s rights ? ours and the Canadians we serve, makes a better public broadcaster. In these difficult times for the CBC, toughness, sticking to principles, and pulling together for each other is the legacy I hope that I leave behind.

Many of you will be interested in the process to replace me at the Guild after I leave. Under the CMG by-laws, our Vice President, Pierre Claveau, will serve as branch president on an interim basis. Pierre is a member of the CMG National Executive Committee, served as the President of the Vancouver Location Unit for a number of years, and was a strong voice on our negotiation team last year.

Again, under our by-laws, in the near future there will be a call for nominations to serve out my term as Branch President, which ends in December 2007. Although I should be careful about making predictions, the election, if one is required, will probably take place in the latter part of November.

Arnold Amber,
President, CBC Branch,
Canadian Media Guild
September 29, 2006

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