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350 frontline jobs going from CBC and Radio-Canada outside Quebec

Two months after the announcement of major cuts at the CBC, we now know that 350 jobs will be cut in French and English services outside of Quebec this spring. Of these, 100 are due to non-renewal of contract employees, 158 are due to layoffs of permanent employees, and 19 are vacant jobs being abolished. In addition, 73 employees are taking retirement incentives.

“This is a very sad time,” says Marc Philippe Laurin, president of the Canadian Media Guild’s CBC branch. “We are losing very experienced people who have devoted years to the CBC and we’re also losing people who were beginning what should have been long and bright careers at the public broadcaster. Viewers, listeners and web surfers will notice their absence as programming is scaled back or cancelled altogether.”

Click here to get a sense of the impacts by region.

The union will be meeting this week with the 158 employees slated to receive a notice that their job is being made redundant. Those employees will be involved in a process to find other available work inside the CBC or to bump more junior employees in jobs they are qualified to do. Actual layoff notices are not expected until summer. (For more detailed information on the process, visit: www.cmg.ca/CBCFAQ2jobcutsEN.pdf).

“After the downsizing, we will shift our focus to the survivors who remain in their jobs,” Laurin adds. “The Guild is very concerned that the cuts will lead to increased workloads.

Meanwhile, the union is continuing the campaign to Restore CBC and Radio-Canada. Thousands of Canadians have already sent messages to Ottawa. As well, the Guild is in discussions with CBC management about measures to free up resources to reverse some of the planned layoffs. We hope to have more information on this in the coming weeks.

The job cuts are a result of chronic under-funding of CBC and Radio-Canada, which was made worse this year by a sudden drop in advertising revenue due to the economic downturn.

“These cuts are so unnecessary,” says Guild national president Lise Lareau. “Governments around the world are taking concrete steps to help their media organizations and employees during this economic crisis. They recognize that’s the way make sure they survive and thrive in this climate. Our government is doing the opposite, even threatening another cut to CBC/Radio-Canada next year.”

For more information, contact the Guild (info@cmg.ca) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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