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CBC rejects Guild’s offer to guarantee Games coverage

The Corporation has rejected an offer by the Canadian Media Guild to extend conciliation in order to allow more time for negotiations and to assure no interruption of coverage of the upcoming Canada Games. CBC is the host broadcaster of the Games.

In response to a request last week by the Corporation, the Guild again proposed to extend the conciliation period by two weeks.(Click here to view the letter sent to the Corporation.) The extra time would make up for our two-week break from the bargaining table, needed to conduct the national strike vote. It would also ensure there could be no strike or lockout before the end of the Canada Games or the Rogers Cup tennis tournament.

The Corporation has made it clear that it wants a 5-day extension – just enough time to get to the end of the Canada Games – or nothing. We are deeply concerned, both by the Corporation’s complete lack of willingness to compromise on this issue and by its apparent disinterest in extending what we hope will be a productive bargaining period.

The Guild’s priority is to negotiate a good collective agreement for our members. To do that, we need the backing of our members and cooperation from the Corporation. Unfortunately, it looks as if we will also need the threat of a work stoppage to convince the Corporation that it must withdraw its regressive proposals that would hurt the interests of our members (click here for 12 reasons to vote yes in this week’s strike vote).

It would be irresponsible for the Guild to grant the Corporation its wish to extend conciliation by only five days. We cannot simply agree to extending the deadline for a strike or lockout to a time that is more convenient for the Corporation without getting some indication from our employer that it is willing to bargain seriously with us about the issues and is not just looking at the calender to plan its next move.

The Guild has attempted to address the Corporation’s interests in this case, as we have throughout negotiations. We are concerned about the impact of a labour dispute on the Canadian public. But we are not willing to hand over full control of the process to the Corporation at the expense of our members.

Unless the Corporation decides to cooperate with the Guild in the interest of productive negotiations, the original timetable will stand. Both sides will be in a legal strike/lock out position as of August 15th. By law the parties are required to give 72 hours notice of intent to strike or lock out.

For more information, please get in touch with us (guild@interlog.com) at 416-591-5333 or at 1-800-465-4149.

Your bargaining committee:
Arnold Amber, Toronto
Pierre Claveau, Vancouver
Brendan Elliott, Charlottetown
Percy Hatfield, Windsor
Joe Hill, Toronto
Wendy Hunt, Toronto
Gerry Jones, Regina
Barbara Saxberg, Toronto
Lee Siemon, Toronto
Chris Turner, Fredericton
Rick Warren, Vancouver
Dan Oldfield, Senior CMG staff representative

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