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Testimony begins at arbitration on outsourcing of CBC publicity

Canadian Media Guild national president Lise Lareau began testifying this week at the arbitration of the dispute over the outsourcing of CBC’s publicity department in 2005. The union is arguing that CBC took the decision to outsource the department without a valid business case.

The Guild is challenging the CBC’s projection of $864,000 in annual savings and the assertion that a private agency would allow for “more focused and flexible” publicity. The Guild predicted that the public broadcaster would end up getting less publicity for more cost, and that the shows produced in-house would be particularly disadvantaged under the new system.

Lareau explained in detail how the union found out about the outsourcing plan and reacted to the announcement that 33 members would lose their jobs.

“There was a sense by employees that something was being fast-tracked without taking into account what they had to offer,” Lareau said. “We continue to feel the decision wasn’t made with consideration for what was being lost.”

Subsequently, the CBC hired five new promotion managers who the Guild believes should be members of the bargaining unit

Lareau will continue testifying when the hearings resume on May 7 in Toronto. For more information, or if you have information you would like to share with the Guild, contact us at info@cmg.ca or call 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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