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Paul Robertson roundtable: what you need to know

Shaw Media president Paul Robertson has called roundtable meetings at 121 Bloor this week where employees are invited to “ask Paul questions on any topic, including the bargaining process.”

This is troubling since Paul Robertson has declined an invitation to meet with your bargaining committee to try to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both employees and management. Why does he want to talk to individual employees and not to their union?

On May 2, before we applied for conciliation, the union sent a letter to Robertson inviting him to meet after the management bargaining committee gave us an offer we didn’t think was good enough (click here to see the offer on the table). Robertson has not been at the bargaining table and his committee told us that our proposals “would never fly” with the corporate leadership. We wanted to have a full discussion with the head of the company, seeing as our proposals would cost the company only about $500,000 more over two years than what they proposed. We didn’t think it reasonable for them to get into a dispute with employees over a sum that is tiny compared to overall revenues and executive compensation. You can read our letter to Robertson here.

However, on May 25, Robertson wrote back to us saying simply that the management offer was fair. Now he wants to meet with you and talk about the “bargaining process.”

If you’ve been invited to the roundtable, we urge you to ask any questions you want. At the same time, we urge you to make it clear to Robertson that, when it comes to negotiations, he should be talking to your committee. If individual employees are used as intermediaries between management and your union, it will be harder to get a fair deal for everyone.

Your bargaining committee remains committed to negotiating a fair deal and to move forward in a productive relationship with the company. As always, we thank you for your ongoing support. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Your bargaining committee:

Mike Duong, Shaw branch president
Katy Boudreau
Sherisse White
Karen Wirsig, CMG staff
Keith Maskell, CMG staff representative

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