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Layoffs at CW Television

More than twenty positions in the Canadian Media Guild’s bargaining unit at CW Television are being eliminated as part of a major downsizing at Canwest. The CMG jobs affected are primarily in closed captioning and long-form post-production. Most of the cuts will be implemented early in 2009.

“It’s disappointing to see that Canwest has stripped bare what had previously been a very profitable sector of the company,” says Masaaba Mwambu, president of the CW Television branch of the Guild. “They’re releasing a group of extremely talented people.”

Under the layoff and recall provisions of the collective agreement, the Guild and the employer will meet to ensure that affected members are treated with dignity and that their rights under the collective agreement are respected. The collective agreement provides for severance pay as well as recall rights, in the event that new positions are created at Canwest in the near future.

“It’s puzzling that while Canwest is cutting its overall?workforce?by five percent,?the unionized workforce at the former Alliance Atlantis is being cut by nearly twenty percent,” says Lise Lareau, national president of the CMG.?”This is especially troubling given that Canwest itself?notes that these specialty channels are healthy and growing in the double digits.”

For more information, please contact Masaaba at mmwambu@canwest.com or Guild staff representative Keith Maskell at keith@cmg.ca.

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