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Some hope for resumption of talks

There is growing optimism that real negotiations between the Canadian Media Guild and the Corporation could start again soon. Representatives of the Guild met this week with federal cabinet ministers who are attending the Liberal caucus in Regina. We are encouraged by the interest and support among MPs to get CBC employees back to work.

Labour minister Joe Fontana has said he is willing to help get the two sides together and we have word that his ministry is looking to appoint a special mediator, perhaps as soon as this week.

Lead negotiatiors from the Guild and management continue to maintain regular contact, as they have since the beginning of the lockout.

Early on Wednesday, CBC president Robert Rabinovitch and TV vice president Richard Stursberg told picketers in Toronto that management has placed no pre-conditions on the resumption of talks. However, on Wednesday evening, a senior member of the management bargaining committee pointed out to a union leader that “Mr. Stursberg is not on the (management) bargaining committee.”

Meanwhile, the Guild has learned that members of the management bargaining team were hustled back to the Royal York Hotel today to have their photo taken. Apparently, they want to show they are ready and eager to bargain. The irony is that the photo is being taken 11 days after the Corporation forced an end to bargaining by imposing a lockout.

The Guild wants to make it perfectly clear that we are ready for real negotiations. To end the confusion in the management ranks, it is time for an official statement from the Corporation that it is willing to talk about the employment status issue beyond its own proposal.

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

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