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OTTAWA ― The President of the Canadian Labour Congress has criticized the staffing cuts announced at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

“This is just the latest round of job cuts at our national broadcaster and once again the CBC is being asked to fulfill its mandate but to do so with fewer resources,” Georgetti says. 

Georgetti was commenting on an announcement by CBC management that its workforce will be cut by 657 over the next two years as the public broadcaster deals with a $130 million revenue shortfall from the loss of NHL hockey and government budget cuts. Unions at the CBC have been advised that the majority of this year’s staffing cuts will be implemented in August with layoff letters slated to be issued as early as June and redundancy notices to be given by end of April.

Georgetti says that the loss of advertising revenues from NHL hockey explains only part of the CBC’s budget shortfall. “Between 2011 and 2015, the federal government’s financial support of the CBC will be reduced from $1.03 billion to $913 million. This is death by a thousand cuts and we really do have to ask whether this government supports public broadcasting.”

Georgetti adds that many of the positions being lost at the CBC are good, family-supporting jobs. “This fits a wider pattern of Canadians losing good jobs at a time when most of the jobs being created in this country are part-time, precarious and poorly paid. This is no way for workers, particularly younger workers, to build a future.”

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 111 district labour councils.

Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca

Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour

Contact: Dennis Gruending, CLC Communications: Tel. 613-526-7431.

Cell-text: 613-878-6040. Email: dgruending@clc-ctc.ca

 

 
 
 
 


 
 
 

Greetings,

As you are aware, we filed an application for certification this week to represent workers at Toyota assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock.  Many of you have seen the media attention and recognize the importance and magnitude of the upcoming vote. I want to recognize and thank the local unions and activists who have assisted us in this campaign and who given their support to the organizing department. 

I am writing today to request your assistance in the closing days of the campaign and to show our future members the support that Unifor will give them.

We are going to significantly increase our presence outside the Toyota workplaces with a Unifor show of force with our flags and signs.  Our supporters have indicated they receive a tremendous boost, going into and leaving work, when they see the support from so many of us.  I am requesting that you make every effort required to visit one or more of the workplaces in the next couple of days giving support to our future members at Toyota.  Don’t forget to bring your flags.  Your assistance is important.

Please ensure that you notify either Bob Van Cleef (416-274-1876 bobvancleef@unifor.org) or Danny McBride (416-702–2593 danny.mcbride@unifor.org) that you will be attending. 

The schedule is as follows:

Cambridge/Woodstock – Thursday April 3 & Friday April 4 – 3:45 pm – 5:30 pm

Cambridge – Monday April 7, 3:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Woodstock – Tuesday April 8, 3:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Due to parking and traffic logistics please contact the following staff below for further details:

Cambridge – Bob Van Cleef (416) 274-1876

Woodstock – Danny McBride (416) 702–2593

Thanks in advance for your anticipated co-operation

Jerry Dias, National President |Président national

Unifor

205 Placer Court, Toronto, ON  M2H 3H9

Tel/Tél: 416 495 6555 | Fax/Téléc:  416 495 3778 | Toll free/sans frais:  1 800 268 5763

jerry.dias@unifor.org | Twitter:  @JerryPDias |www.unifor.org



 
 
 
 


 

 
 
 
 


 

Unifor calls on CRTC to reject Bell Media’s plea to reduce local programming


Unifor, Canada’s largest media union, is calling on the CRTC to unequivocally reject Bell Media’s application to circumvent their license obligations to provide local news and programming.

“If the CRTC bends to Bell Media’s pressure, we fear it could be the beginning of the end of local news and programming as we know it in Canadian television,” said Unifor Media Sector Director Howard Law. “Bell Media has asked previously for an averaging formula, and it was rejected. They are persistent in their pressure, but the CRTC must be equally strong and consistent in enforcing Bell Media-CTV’s license commitments.”

The application by Bell Media-CTV asks the CRTC to amend their license requirements to “average” local programming hours over three month periods, providing the possibility of reducing or abandoning altogether regular weekly programming. 

“Canadians expect that local programming will be consistent, reliable and broadcast by Canadians for Canadians,” said Unifor Media Council Chairperson Randy Kitt.  Kitt is the president of Unifor 79M, representing CTV and Rogers employees.

 “Bell has not explained how local communities will benefit from either random or scheduled periods of reduced local television programming,” Unifor argued to the CRTC. “A review of Bell’s program logs indicate that its stations produce very little non-news local programming – meaning that the main effect of Bell’s proposal would be to reduce the level of regularly scheduled local news available to communities. The CRTC should not approve applications whose effect will be to reduce the news on which people rely for information about their communities.”

Unifor’s submission to the CRTC, including the executive summary, can be read by clicking this link:http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/files/attachments/unifor_submission_bnoc_2013-529_5_nov_2013.pdf


 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 

 
 
 
Be a hero! On Sunday, May 4, 2014,
 join communities across Canada walking together for Kids Help Phone
 – the only national service supporting kids’ potential, 24/7/365.


CLICK HERE
 
 
 


 
 

Domestic Violence in the Canadian Workplace

Please fill out the survey
 
 
 


 

March 2014 Update

BROADCAST LICENCE RENEWALS

CRTC hearings into Rogers application to renew its broadcast licences are scheduled for Tuesday, April 8th in Gatineau, Quebec.  Hundreds of Canadians submitted their thoughts on Rogers plans through interventions of support or opposition to the CRTC last month

Unifor has asked some important questions to both the CRTC and Rogers.  What the Commission decides will affect our working lives in years to come.  We will be posting many of the intervenor comments for you to review on our local web site: www.unifor830m.ca

Unifor National Submission

Unifor Local 830M (CITY Vancouver & OMNI BC Unionized Members)

Unifor Local 723M (CITY Toronto & OMNI Ontario Unionized Members)

City of Vancouver, Mayor Gregor Robertson

NDP Member of Parliament, Libby Davies

NDP Members of Parliament, Andrew Cash & Don Davies

Vancouver District Labour Council, President Joey Hartman

BC Federation of Labour President, Jim Sinclair

LETS TALK TV

The CRTC has released Choicebook at: http://letstalktv.hkstrategies.ca/  It is a questionnaire that will guide the CRTC to the future of Canadian Television regulation. It is important for us to fill out this questionnaire in a way that shows the Commission we care about well funded local programming.

Unifor has created a guide to help you fill out the questionnaire at:  http://www.unifor.org/en/tips-filling-out-crtc-lets-talk-tv-survey

Contact one of the Executive Board Members if you have any questions, comments or concerns


 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Greetings,

Unifor encourages everyone to participate in the online debate on “the future of conventional television” hosted by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Our broadcasting sector employs over 40,000 Canadians, most of them good jobs held by members of Unifor and a host of other unions. The national, regional and local programming that our members produce is fundamental to a distinct Canadian voice and our democratic life.

Like many Canadian industries threatened by American domination, Canadian broadcasting is a regulated endeavor. Canadian media companies like Bell, Rogers, Shaw Global, and Québecor are sheltered from overwhelming competition or hostile take-overs from American media goliaths like Comcast. In exchange, these Canadian companies profit from Canadian rights to American shows and then are expected to sponsor Canadian content and local programming with a lower-profit margin. It’s a deal that works. The companies make money, consumers still get access to American and international programming they really can’t do without, and Canadian content gets created and broadcast.

Living in the shadow of the American broadcasting giant, the federal Broadcasting Act gives Canadian culture and politics a communication platform that would be wiped out without the regulatory framework of the Broadcasting Act. This is no exaggeration.

Of great concern is that CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais has opened up a debate on the “future of conventional television” which may or may not deregulate broadcasting and open the floodgates to American programming. Appointed by the federal conservatives, and avowedly “consumerist” in the Harper mode, M.Blais certainly has an agenda in his own head. We just don’t know exactly how far it goes.

M.Blais has posted an online questionnaire for open participation. We encourage you to go online at http://letstalktv.hkstrategies.ca/  to participate and speak out for Canadian broadcasting.

The questionnaire asks a variety of questions about what you as a viewer are willing to pay for.

Unifor has the following recommendations for responding to the questionnaire. Feel free to print out this message as a guideline to your responses. 

Question 1 – Supporting aboriginal, francophone and accessible programming on basic cable. Unifor agrees with Doreen, Jeaninne and Sierra / Comment – Broadcasters are not likely to spend money on accessible television unless it’s profitable or mandated.  Without regulation these services would likely disappear.

Question 2 - Local news on basic cable. This is a crucial question affecting thousands of broadcasting jobs. Unifor agrees with Andrew & Mary / Comment – Local news & local programming is important to all of Canada’s unique communities.  There are many options to access global programming, but there are few local programming options.  It is important that the major broadcasters provide local news and local programming that reflect our communities and our culture.

Question 3 – Do you want “pick and play” only your favourite channels?  Unifor recommends either “status quo” or “other packages w/ options” / Comments – “Pick and play” is a marketing illusion. Currently, broadcasters bundle packages so they can offer more programming and spread out their overhead costs. Take that away, and you may see a number of important Canadian specialty stations like TSN2 go off the air and lose the unique Canadian shows that come with it.

Question 4 – Major sporting events, free or pay? Unifor agrees with Ethan / Comments – Major Canadian sporting events should be made available on over the air television.  Ratings for these events go up when more viewers have access to these programs. It’s a broadcasting strategy that works for everyone.

Question 5 – Next is a series of five questions about gaining access to a lot more American channels. Mario understands the economics of Canadian broadcasting. American programming is far more profitable because of the size of their market: they can undercut Canadian content at a loss just to grab market share north of the border.

So in response to the next five questions, Unifor recommends:

Do you want more direct access to American channels? – NO

Question 6 – Do you want more direct access to international channels (non-US)? – YES or NO

Question 7 – Would you want more American & international channels if it meant paying more? – Yes or No

Question 8 – Would you want more American & international channels if it meant some Canadian made shows and channels (and the associated jobs) may no longer be available? – NO . Comment – there is plenty of American television available already.  The example of ESPN & TSN is right on; TSN may not exist if ESPN was allowed unfettered access to our country’s airwaves.  When TSN lost the rights to hockey many years ago they focused their attention on the CFL.  TSN made the CFL cool and viable in this country again.  Allowing American networks in this country would lessen or eliminate Canadian programming, reduce or shared cultural experiences and radically alter our broadcasting job market, where many good broadcasting jobs would simply be lost.

Question 9 – If you could get direct access to International Channels, but only in a package with certain Canadian channels, would you be willing to pay for that? YES or NO

Question 10- Blocking American ads (“signal substitution”). Which of these approaches would provide a better balance between protecting programming rights and giving viewer’s choice?  Unifor recommends Signal substitution (what we have now).

The next questions deal with the threat of Netflix and other unregulated American online broadcasters to Canadian programming.

Question 11 – Unifor agrees with Jenny.

Question 12 – Unifor recommends Yes we would be willing to pay an extra 50 cents per month

Question 13 – Unifor also recommends Yes - Online services should provide closed captioning. Comment - closed captioning is an important service for the hearing impaired.  Without regulation to protect these services, they would be eliminated.  Big business will not provide a service that is not financially supporting.  Many bars or other television shows shown in public spaces show the closed captioning when audio cannot be played. This also benefits the general public.  Closed captioning is a service that should be preserved.

Question 14 – Would you be willing to pay a few cents per month for online closed captioning?  Unifor recommends Yes

Question 15 – Paying an extra $5 for streaming content on-line with no cap. Unifor recommends NO / Comment – It’s a qualified “no.” The $5 “unlimited streaming” plan is darn appealing and deserves discussion. Will the American media companies Netflix and Youtube foot the bill? If the Commission is thinking about making Canadian media companies pay a big part of your data plan (even for more Canadian content), this requires extremely careful consideration. 

Additional Comments? – Without a strong broadcasting policy and strict regulations we will likely see the end of Canadian content, quality local programming and local news.  With that loss most broadcast jobs will disappear and all that will be left will be American programming.  With a thoughtful and cautious regulatory approach we can encourage, foster and develop a strong and vibrant Canadian television landscape that is accessible and relevant to all Canadians.  This will definitely have a cost associated with it, but that cost should be invested back into Canadian broadcasting for the benefit of all Canadians.

Enter your email address and you are done.  Thanks for helping save Canadian content and Canadian broadcast jobs.

In solidarity,

Randy Kitt

Media Industry Chair

Howard Law

Director


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
  

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