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 2014-09-09

Proposed changes to broadcasting regulations would not be good for Canadian broadcasting and they won't do consumers any favours either.

Though the government has promised consumers lower prices, media advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting points out, cable and satellite companies who sell the services say consumers can expect no significant savings from pick and pay.

Instead, pick-and-pay along with the other significant changes on the table – such as the proposal to end simultaneous substitution -- will likely harm local broadcasting, especially local news which is the kind of programming Canadians think is most important.

In fact, local independent broadcasters/stations in small and medium sized markets are blunt that the changes could force them off the air, Friends noted in a statement released prior to the start of the current Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission public hearings into the country’s broadcast and media industry.

Even Bell Media has expressed doubt about the future of its CTV2 network that serves smaller cities such as London and Barrie.

The changes will produce winners and losers.

Small, niche Canadian services like Treehouse, Biography, Mystery and Bold that have made expensive programming commitments to the CRTC will find it difficult to survive in a pick-and pay-world, reducing the choices currently available to Canadians. CBC NewsNet, CTV News Channel and that favourite of the Conservative caucus, Sun TV News will also lose. Canadian programming in general will lose too as the changes will drain hundreds of millions of dollars from the system broadcasters use to finance Canadian shows.

The law of the land - the Broadcasting Act - directs the CRTC to ensure the Canadian broadcasting system is predominantly and distinctively Canadian because this helps to define and enhance our cultural sovereignty.

Formed in 1985, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent, Canada-wide, non-partisan voluntary organization supported by 180,000 households whose mission is to defend and enhance the quality and quantity of Canadian programming in the Canadian audio-visual system.
 


mediacastermagazine.com · September 9, 2014
 
 

 
newswire.ca · September 2, 2014

TORONTO, Sept. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - As another school year begins, Unifor has today written to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education, alerting them to serious problems with how school bus contracts are awarded across the province, and is releasing a new report on the issue.

"Parents need to trust that when they put their children on a bus in the morning that everything is being done to ensure the best transportation possible," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, whose letter was sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Education Minister Liz Sandals this morning. "Unfortunately, our research has found that the way school bus contracts are handed out undermines that confidence."

Steering Clear: Avoiding the RFP Trap, an in-depth study by Unifor released today, argues that the current Request for Proposal process for handing our school bus contracts in Ontario undermines local democracy and could put children at risk. The report links the province's RFP process to abandoned bus routes, the closure of school bus yards and downward pressure on wages and working conditions for the drivers. School boards have been left to scramble to cover abandoned routes, while declining working conditions has led to higher employee turnover.

"Having bus drivers who are familiar with their routes and the children they are carrying is the best way to ensure children get to and from school safely. That safety, however, is undermined by a procurement policy that breeds instability in this important service," Dias says in his letter.

Unifor is calling on the Ontario government to make good on a promise to conduct a thorough review of the RFP process, which must include an assessment of the impact RFPs have had on wages and working conditions.

Unifor is also calling for more transparency among school transportation consortia that administer the process on behalf on local school boards, including bringing under the jurisdiction of the Freedom of Information Act and the Ontario Ombudsman.

As well, Unifor is calling on the Auditor General to look into what happened to a $10-million provincial Wage Enhancement payout made to school boards in 2008 to boost wages for drivers, but which often never made it to them, and for a provincial board to be set up to monitor the impact of RFPs on wages and working conditions.

To see the letter to the Premier, the Steering Clear reportand a summary of the report, please see the attached.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers, including more than 1,600 school bus drivers in Ontario. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

 

 

SOURCE Unifor

 


 
 

2014-09-04

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today released information on the broadcasting sector from the 2014 Communications Monitoring Report.

The latest edition of this annual report indicates that Canadians are watching television programming across multiple platforms. This resulted in a modest increase in the overall average number of weekly television viewing hours.

In 2013, the time spent watching traditional television each week decreased slightly across all age groups. The greatest decline occurred among 18-to-34-year-olds, where average viewing dropped by 3.9%, from 22.8 hours in 2012 to 21.9 hours in 2013.

Adult Canadians supplemented this viewing by watching 1.9 hours of television content over the Internet per week, an increase from 1.3 hours in 2012. In particular, Netflix adoption among English speakers grew from 21% to 29% and for French speakers increased from 5% to 7%.

The percentage of households subscribing to cable, satellite and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services decreased slightly from 85.6%, or 11.93 million households, to 84.9%, or 11.92 million households.

Canadians are also listening to audio content on a variety of devices. On average, Canadians listened to 19.3 hours of radio per week in 2013, down slightly from 19.6 hours in 2012. Twenty percent of Canadians streamed the signal of an AM or FM station online and 18% accessed personalized online music streaming services.

In 2013, total broadcast revenues increased 1.3% to reach $17.1 billion. The sector invested $2.7 billion in the creation of new television content made by Canadians, as well as $52 million in the creation of Canadian audio content and to support Canadian artists.

The 2014 Communications Monitoring Report provides a comprehensive overview of the Canadian communication industry for the year ended August 31, 2013. The report provides data and information on the industry, including emerging trends and issues.

This year, the CRTC will release the report in three parts. In the coming weeks, the Commission will publish data related to telecommunications, and then information about consumer spending on communications services, pricing and international comparisons.

 *Canadians had access to 644 television services authorized to broadcast in 2013, including 374 English-language services, 84 French-language services and 186 services in other languages.

*The total number of authorized radio services was 1,174, including 885 English-language services, 244 French-language services and 45 services in other languages.

*Average weekly viewing of traditional television remained consistent, going from 28.2 hours in 2012 to 27.9 hours in 2013. Among Canadians 18 years of age and up, average weekly viewing decreased slightly, going from 29.5 hours in 2012 to 29.3 hours in 2013.

*The percentage of households subscribing to cable and satellite services decreased slightly from 85.6%, or 11.93 million, to 84.9%, or 11.92 million.

*For Canadians 18 years or older, average weekly viewing of Internet television increased from 1.3 hours in 2012 to 1.9 hours in 2013.

*The adoption of Internet TV among English speakers increased from 38% to 42%. Internet TV adoption for French speakers increased from 34% to 39%. Nationally, over 40% of adults used Internet TV in 2013.

*The percentage of English speakers that watched Internet TV on a tablet doubled from 6% in 2012 to 12% in 2013. Among French speakers, watching Internet TV on a tablet more than doubled, going from 4% in 2012 to 10% in 2013.

*Access of Internet TV via mobile phone for English speakers increased from 7% in 2012 to 12% in 2013. Mobile-phone Internet TV access among French speakers increased from 4% to 7%.

*Netflix adoption among English speakers grew from 21% to 29%. Adoption for French speakers increased from 5% to 7%.

*On average, Canadians listened to 19.3 hours of radio per week in 2013, down slightly from 19.6 hours in 2012.

*Growth of satellite radio subscription was essentially static. Among English speakers, adoption increased slightly from 16% in 2012 to 17% in 2013. Among French speakers, 7% subscribed, the same as in 2012.

*Adoption of AM/FM online streaming remained the same: 22% among English speakers and 14% among French speakers. Nationally, 20% of Canadians streamed AM/FM radio online in 2013.

*Approximately 18% of Canadians used personalized online music streaming services in 2013.

*The television industry as a whole spent $2.7 billion on Canadian programming, 16% of which was spent on programs of national interest such as dramas, comedies, award shows and documentaries.

*Private conventional television stations invested $605 million in Canadian programs.

*Pay, specialty, pay-per-view and video-on-demand services invested $1.3 billion in Canadian programs.

*The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Société Radio-Canada  invested $701 million in Canadian programs.

*Other public and not-for-profit conventional television stations invested $75 million in Canadian programs.

*Cable and satellite companies contributed $467 million to fund Canadian programming, including programs for community channels.

*Radio stations invested over $52 million to the creation of Canadian content and the support of Canadian artists.

*The production and acquisition of programming is a broadcaster's largest expense, representing 63 cents of every revenue dollar.

Revenues

*Broadcast sector revenues totaled $17.1 billion in 2013, a 1.3% increase from 2012.

*Revenues for private commercial radio stations increased by 0.1%, going from $1.62 billion in 2012 to $1.623 billion in 2013.

*Overall television revenues decreased 0.2%, from $6.51 billion in 2012 to $6.50 billion in 2013.

*Private conventional television broadcasters' revenues decreased by 4.6%, from $2.04 billion to $1.94 billion.

*Pay, specialty, pay-per-view and video-on-demand service revenues increased by 3.1%, from $3.97 billion to $4.09 billion.

*Revenues for CBC/Radio-Canada decreased from $508 million to $464 million.

*Revenues for broadcast distribution companies such as cable, satellite and Internet protocol television (IPTV) providers increased 2.7% from $8.8 billion in 2012 to $9 billion in 2013.

*Revenues for providers of IPTV service over a managed network increased 58.2% from $585.4 million to $926.1 million.

 

 

 
 


 

Nanos survey finds Canadians skeptical about CRTC TV proposals


Toronto (September 4, 2014) - On the eve of a CRTC hearing that could result in the gutting of Canada’s TV rules, a new Nanos survey released this morning finds the sweeping changes up for consideration next week are on shaky ground with Canadians.

The survey found more than half (54%) think it is unlikely that unbundling cable TV packages to allow consumers to pick and pay for only the channels they want will result in lower TV subscription costs. Only one--‐in--‐four (24%) believe the federal government’s promise of lower prices while 62% believe cable and satellite companies who say prices won’t go down by unbundling TV packages.

Even with the prospect of lower subscription costs, 41% of Canadians say pick and pay and other changes should not occur because of potential damage to the economy and Canadian programming, while 43% believe the changes are acceptable.

According to the survey, Canadians place a very high level of importance (84%) on local news, yet this kind of programming is threatened by the CRTC’s proposals.

“Local TV stations across the land, especially in smaller markets, will shut down and investment in Canadian programs will plummet if the CRTC adopts rule changes it has broached in its review of TV policy, says Ian Morrison, spokesperson for the watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting which commissioned the survey in collaboration with ACTRA and UNIFOR.

“This poll shows that regardless of the platform upon which content is being delivered to viewers, the CRTC is trusted to ensure support for Canadian programming, to strengthen diversity in the system, and to use its authority to affirm the cornerstone place of the CBC,” says Stephen Waddell, National Executive Director of ACTRA.

By A very strong margin (68% agree), Canadians want foreign Internet broadcasters like Netflix to abide by the same rules as Canadian companies. They also want foreign companies to contribute financially to new Canadian programming. More than half (52%) completely disagree with the notion that these companies should not be required to financially contribute to help support new Canadian programming. Of note, if Netflix and Canal + contributed to new Canadian programming, the positive impressions of those organizations would increase for most people (69%).

Other findings from the survey include:

*Canadians are satisfied (46% satisfied/25% somewhat satisfied) with the choice of US and other foreign programming that is available to them.

*Canadians place most trust and confidence in CBC and the CRTC to protect Canadian culture and identity on TV (report pages 13 to 18).

*Canadians see the CRTC as responsible for protecting Canadian TV and radio content (page 5), strongly support the goals of the CRTC (report pages 19 to 23), and see a need for the CRTC today (report page 24).

*The vast majority of Canadians would like to see funding for the CBC stay at the same level or increase while only 10 percent would like to see CBC funding  decreased. Among federal Conservative supporters 51 percent would like CBC funding to be maintained, 25 percent would like to see CBC funding increased and 21 percent would like to see funding decreased.

*Canadians see the CBC playing an important role in strengthening Canadian culture and identity. The intensity of views on this opinion has increased over the past year.

"We have given evidence to the CRTC that the regulatory changes under consideration could cost the Canadian economy more than 31,000 jobs and almost $3 billion, a devastating consequence. Eliminating simultaneous substitution alone is a $300M revenue loss from Canadian media companies to American broadcast giants," says Randy Kitt, Media Chair at Unifor.

Nanos conducted a random telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians between August 16th and 25th, 2014. The sample included both land--‐ and cell--‐lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.

The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists – www.actra.ca) is the national organization of professional performers working in the English--‐language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across Canada – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.  

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers, including 14,500 media sector workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

--‐30--‐

For information:

ACTRA: Carol Taverner 416-644‐1519 ctaverner@actra.ca

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting: Jim Thompson 613-567-9592 jim@friends.ca

Unifor: Randy Kitt, Unifor Media Council Chairperson 416-529-5152 (cell) rkitt@unifor79m.ca

The complete Nanos Report is available at www.TVpoll.ca


 
 
 


 

A year from today, Canada could be in the throes of a federal election. Stephen Harper's Conservatives have already started laying the groundwork for their re-election campaign, and two important themes are emerging: jobs and the economy.

A key battleground will be Ontario. Our province is vital to Harper's re-election plans, because it sent plenty of Conservative MPs to Ottawa last time around -- enough to give Harper a majority government, despite the fact that the Conservatives flopped completely in Quebec.

But in the years since the 2011 election, our economy has taken a beating. Ontario's unemployment rate is running higher than the national average, and even hit 9 per cent in beleaguered Windsor, leaving a lot of people anxious about their future.

This hardship has Harper worried, so his finance minister Joe Oliver spent a whole week in southwestern Ontario in August trying to convince people that the Conservatives actually care about the unemployed and job creation.

Stephen Harper's track record has shown that he considers workers to be bumps in the road for the big-business-friendly changes he wants to make to the economy.

He has used his power to force federal workers back to work, has introduced laws targeting unions' finances unfairly, and has abused his Temporary Foreign Worker Program to drive down wages on the backs of vulnerable and exploited migrant workers.

But by focusing on his perceived political enemies, Stephen Harper would be taking a big risk. He could end up tanking just like Tim Hudak did in the provincial election this year.

Tim Hudak's Conservatives stole a page from the U.S. "Tea Party" movement's playbook, promoting laws to bar workers from bargaining over pensions, health coverage, safety, sick leave or vacations. Fortunately, the union movement came together in a campaign to convince Ontarians to reject the Conservatives' attacks.

Over the next year the Canadian Labour Congress and the Ontario Federation of Labour will be informing voters about the "union advantage."

For instance, nearly one in three people employed in Ontario is a union member. If you are one of these 1.6 million workers, you enjoy a tremendous advantage because your union has negotiated a fair wage and workday for you.

In Ontario the average hourly wage for union members is $29.22, a full $6.42 more per hour than their non-unionized co-workers, who only earn an average of $22.80 per hour.

The union advantage isn't just good for workers, it's good for Ontario communities too.

Unionized workers provide an extra $366 million to Ontario's economy every week. Toronto's share of the union advantage adds up to an extra $105 million every week spent by the city's 600,000 unionized workers.

It's clear that unions benefit their members, but the Ontario Federation of Labour is working to help people who don't have a union too.

The OFL has been working closely with community groups, and together we convinced the Ontario government to boost the minimum wage to $11 per hour, but that's still not high enough. Everyone knows that $11 falls far short of a livable wage, so we will continue to advocate for the minimum wage to be raised to $14 per hour.

The OFL also wants to ensure that everyone can retire with dignity. Two-thirds of the workforce have no pensions. In Ontario, nearly 1.3 million workers do not have access to any type of employer-sponsored workplace pension.

The Ontario Federation of Labour has been supporting the Canadian Labour Congress's efforts to convince the federal government to expand the Canada Pension Plan.

Ottawa is dragging its feet, but the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan was included in the latest provincial budget at Queen's Park. We will work to ensure that the ORPP is introduced with the strongest provisions possible, that it is compatible with the Canada Pension Plan, and that it provides a defined benefit funded through mandatory contributions.

We have a busy year ahead, and by the time the federal election rolls around on Labour Day next year, Stephen Harper will have a hard time winning votes by attacking unions. The Conservatives already have to contend with angry veterans, scientists, environmentalists, First Nations and many others.

After Tim Hudak's resignation, the new leader of the Ontario Conservatives remarked that the party needs to "stop attacking people." I think that would be good advice for Stephen Harper, too.

Sid Ryan is the President of the Ontario Federation of Labour, representing 1 million members in Ontario.


 
 
"AS POSTED ON WWW.HUFFINGTONPOST.CA"
 


 

After years -- decades, even -- of decline and retreat, the labour movement in Canada has much to celebrate this Labour Day weekend.

For some, just saying such a thing might come as a surprise. It shouldn't. It was only a few short months ago that Tim Hudak seemed about to ride an anti-labour tide to become premier of Ontario on promises to "modernize" the province's labour laws. In reality, he planned to turn the clock back to before the Second World War.

To many, it seemed almost inevitable. And, if I'm honest, it's easy to see why. For a generation or more, organized labour had been on the defensive, too often forced to retreat in the face of unrelenting attacks from business and too-few politicians willing to stand up for the rights of working people.

But Hudak's accent to power didn't go as planned. Instead, he was met with a concerted effort by unions and other progressive groups who challenged his ideas long before the election campaign even began, pointing out how his plans would make Ontario a worse place to live for all.

The voters listened. Hudak was defeated and is no longer leader of the Conservatives.
Unifor was a big part of that effort. Born a year ago this Labour Day weekend when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged, Unifor's founding mission was to reinvigorate the labour movement. In the 12 months since, we've worked hard to do just that.

We have reminded Canadians about the value of unions, and the importance of good labour laws. We traveled Canada to talk about workers' rights and the need for strategies to create good jobs. We've talked about how countries with strong unions also had strong schools and health care systems, and how so-called right to work states in the US had higher rates of unemployment, worse health care and higher rates of poverty.

In short, we've changed the conversation in this country. Labour is longer on the defensive.
And for many of our members, this has translated in to significant victories on several fronts.
In forestry, Unifor helped develop a forestry strategy in New Brunswick that promised more Crown land while offering greater protection for wildlife zones - balancing the interests of industry, Aboriginal communities and environmental groups to help ensure a stable future.
In bargaining, a collective agreement with Resolute Forest Products set the pattern for 8,000 forestry workers east of the Manitoba-Ontario border, providing security for these workers after having to give concessions in the past as their industry faced difficult times.

On pensions, a deal ratified August 21 at Cascade Aerospace in British Columbia secured pensions for future generations of workers at the plant aftter an 11-week strike. But there is much work left to do.

Manufacturing still faces many challenges, and we will continue to push for a modern industrial strategy for Canada to create the kinds of jobs on which our young people can build a future.
We will continue to push for raw bitumen to be processed in this country, creating jobs here rather than building pipelines to feed refineries and create jobs in other countries.

At the bargaining table we will continue, as we have already, to push for good pensions so our elders can retire with dignity. We will continue the effort to raise the minimum wage.

And next month, we will host a Good Jobs Summit here in Toronto, bringing together stakeholders in the Canadian economy, from business people to academics, to discuss way to create more and better jobs in this country.

Month after month, Statistics Canada issues reports about part time and casual jobs replacing full time. For the first time in our history, young people face being worse off than their parents. We can and must do better.

The retreat of the labour movement is over. After the progress and the successes of the past year, I know that we are up to the challenges still ahead of us.


Jerr Dias. National President, Unifor
 
"AS POSTED ON WWW.HUFFINGTONPOST.CA"
 


 
 | By Alexandra Bosanac, The Canadian Press

Labour Day celebrations across Canada this year come at a time when organized labour is in the midst of redefining its role in the workforce as a decline in the manufacturing industry and the rise of contract and part-time workers has challenged its traditional focus.

Nelson Wiseman, director of Canadian studies at the University of Toronto, said that the significance of the holiday fails to resonate with many people outside the labour movement.

"Once upon a time, people were marching in the streets because they wanted to cut down the (workday) and a lot of people were involved in industry that was there, like manufacturing, but now it's not the case," says Wiseman.

"People don't perceive that (unionized) workers are underpaid or unduly exploited, even though many of them may not be making huge amounts," he adds. "People have more sympathy for you if you're flipping burgers at McDonald's."

The principle aims of the first-wave labour movement — universal health care, welfare, the public education system — are now well-established in Canadian society. Outside of their collective bargaining obligations, Wiseman says, unions have been relegated to serving the role of watchdog.

The types of jobs new to the economy fall out of the traditional purview of unions: temporary service industry jobs and knowledge sector jobs and, in particular, the high-tech sector with a highly mobile workforce that has largely has evaded unionization.

Economic headwinds have forced unions to re-evaluate their brand and their purpose in an economy where steady employment is precarious.

"We recognize that are there are some challenges and we have to grow the labour movement because the economy itself is not the economy of the 50s, the 60s, and the 70s," says Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

"In that regard we have to orient ourselves to the new workforce," adds Yussuff, who says that the union's effectiveness in negotiating pensions and better wages has been tested in recent years by governments and private sector employers.

"Nevertheless, I think we have a lot to celebrate. All of those good salaries and wages that our members make are spent in their communities and contribute to a successful and growing economy."

In its first year of existence, Unifor — formed on Labour Day weekend 2013 by the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union — introduced new ways to bring workers from traditionally non-unionized jobs into the fold.

Notably among them, was the Canadian Freelance Union, which represents self-employed media professionals.

It's also moved to solidify its community chapters program for unemployed former Unifor members, providing access to similar health insurance plans.

"We've had to do things differently as it relates to outreach," said Unifor president Jerry Dias. "Our union very much plays a huge role in the community."


 
 
 | By Alexandra Bosanac, The Canadian Press

"AS POSTED ON WWW.HUFFINGTONPOST.CA"
 


 
 

 

News Release

Transportation Safety Board recommendations miss the mark

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Toronto—The union representing 45,000 transportation workers in Canada says that the federal Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recommendations released today are weak and will not adequately protect the public from future accidents. The TSB’s Railway Investigation Report reviewed the Lac Mégantic rail disaster and was to provide guidelines to prevent future loss of life.

“We’re very disappointed with the recommendations in the TSB report,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President, “Public safety has to be the top priority for rail transport reform. The Board wasted an important opportunity to make our rail system safer.” Unifor supports a public inquiry into what went wrong at Lac Mégantic and how it can be prevented in the future.

According to Dias, the union believes the key recommendations of the report—audits and physical mechanisms—put too much emphasis on existing measures that are not effective or enforced. Instead, the union recommended increasing the regularity of full safety and maintenance inspections and closing loopholes that allow companies to seek exemptions to safety rules.

“People die when governments shirk their responsibility to monitor the movement of dangerous cargo. This is not an area where we can afford to cut corners,” said Dias. “The bottom line is that our rail safety system needs better enforcement of the rules, and that means more trained professionals on the job.”

There have been 10 reported runaways since the Lac Megantic disaster.

Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 305,000 members, Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at 778-903-6549 (cell) orIan.Boyko@unifor.org


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 

Unifor Nation President Jerry Dias Addresses the 2014 Women's Conference


 
 
 


 
 

OTTAWA ― The president of the Canadian Labour Congress has renewed his call for a national jobs strategy, following the latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada that show nearly 60,000 full-time jobs were lost in July, only to be replaced with 60,000 part-time jobs.

“The jobs market is stuck. It needs help to get back on the road to economic recovery. But our governments continue to let the tires spin and tell us we're not stuck as deeply as the Americans. They do nothing, as more workers give up hope,” says Hassan Yussuff.

“It's particularly unfair to young Canadians who can't find the full-time work they need to get their lives started and build for the future – Canada's future. The longer we wait while governments refuse to act, the longer Canada spins its wheels without leadership and a clear plan to get out of the mud and back on the road, the further we let the next generation fall behind,” says Yussuff.

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne

Despite claims of action as part of a “plan,” little has been done to stimulate the labour market in recent months and the latest data from Statistics Canada confirm that the labour market is flat, and more precarious.

If Statistics Canada had included their estimate of labour under-utilization in Canada – people who have stopped looking for work because they've given up or because they've had to take whatever work they could find – Canada's real under-employment rate would be at least double the official rate published by the Government of Canada.

In July 2014, no jobs were created. 59,700 workers lost their full time jobs, replaced by 60,000 part time jobs. All of the jobs created over the last 12 months were part-time and the unemployment rate has barely moved. Meanwhile, 35,400 Canadians left the labour market last month, including 14,000 workers aged between 25 and 54 years old, mainly discouraged by the weakness of the job market. Since there were fewer workers looking for a job, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.0% in July, from 7.1% in June.

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:   Jeff Atkinson, CLC Communications: Tel. 613-526-7425

Cell-text: 613-863-1413. Email: jatkinson@clc-cc.ca

 
 
 


 

 
 
 



 
 
 
 


 
 

CRTC Ruling Upholds Rogers' Responsibilities to Multilingual Programming Says Union

 

2014-08-01

A Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission ruling rebuffed Rogers Broadcasting Limited's request for sweeping regulatory relief for its OMNI ethnic television chain in spite of recent financial losses at those five stations.

In the same decision, the CRTC will require Rogers to enhance its commitments to original local programming broadcast from its national chain of City stations.

"Multiculturalism is part of what makes Canada great, and we fought to keep ethnic and third language services alive in Rogers' licence," said Unifor Media Sector Director Howard Law. "Rogers Communications is a very profitable corporation and can easily afford to maintain the current level of programming at OMNI, diminished as it is."

Rogers applied for a renewal of their City and OMNI licences in the fall of 2013 with a proposal to reduce commitments to ethnic and Canadian programming, particularly during the prime time evening period. Unifor testified before the Commission in April 2014, arguing that Rogers' claims about revenue problems at the OMNI stations were over-reaching and under-documented.

"This ruling is a victory for growing newcomer communities who rely on this programming," said Law. "We are very pleased the Commission stood firm. But we feel strongly that Rogers can do even better for ethnic and local programming in the future."

 
 
 
 
 


 

TORONTO, July 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor will be keeping a close eye on the BCE's plan to buy up the shares in Bell Aliant that it does not already own.

"We will be vigilant in maintaining our members' rights as this process plays out in the coming months," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

Unifor represents technicians, clerical and other workers at both Bell Aliant and BCE, which today announced a $3.95-billion plan to privatize Bell Aliant. Dias was notified of the move this morning.

Unifor will meet with BCE and Bell Aliant officials as soon as possible to discuss the impact of the move on Unifor members at the two companies. Today's announcement makes no specific mention of job cuts, beyond eliminating what it calls redundant costs.

"We will be discussing just what the employer means by redundant - and any other impacts this will have on workers at the two companies," Dias said.

Dias stressed that collective agreements will not be affected by the privatization, saying the contracts remain fully in effect and that Unifor will represent its members interests to the fullest, while working to ensure that service to the public is not hurt.

"Our members are committed to providing top-notch service to the public, and we will work to ensure that continues," Dias said.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers, including more than 27,000 in telecommunications. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

SOURCE Unifor

For further information:

please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054


 
 
 


 
 
 
2014-07-02

The stage is set for regulatory hearings that could reshape the way Canadians watch and pay for television.

In its public proceedings and scheduled Let’s Talk TV proceedings, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has opened up industry policy and regulator activity for discussion, debate and revision.

CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais says major changes should be expected as a result; the regulator will hold hearings in early September; its decisions on the future of TV in Canada are expected in early 2015.

The CRTC has fuelled discussion on various aspects of the future of TV broadcasting, with much of the focus on the so-called ‘pick-and-pay model’ for cable television, as well as the future of local television and who should pay for it.

Along with members of the public and industry lobby groups, Canada’s biggest media companies have now responded, and they have come up with competing programs to enhance consumer choice and support local programming.

Some industry observers say the pick-and-pay concept could increase the price of individual channels, driving consumers to buy specialty channel packages anyway.

Bell says it supports pick-and-pay and believes Canadians "shouldn't have to pay for channels they don't want just to get the channels they do. In addition to the extensive range of TV packaging options we make available, we seek to offer pick and pay as an option to consumers," said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Residential Services.

Shaw Communications says it wanted the CRTC to ensure that consumers aren't forced to purchase certain high-cost services, like sports, as part of their basic cable packages. It has proposed a set of guidelines, called Market Guidelines to Maximize Customer Choice and Flexibility, to help consumers get the most out of their cable or satellite services.

Telus says it stands behind consumers having the option to choose which channels they want, but that for consumers to benefit "those choices must be reasonably priced."

Rogers says it is open to pick-and-pay options beyond that and suggests offering more than half its non-basic channels à la carte.

"Delivering more choice for customers depends on the CRTC banning unreasonable contracts that prevent TV providers from offering channels on a pick and pay basis," explained Ken Engelhart, senior vice-president, Regulatory, Rogers Communications. "The CRTC is taking a look at this barrier to choice and we're confident they'll do the right thing for consumers."

Rogers has previously trialed flexible packaging, in London, Ontario, offering nearly 1,000 customers channel bundles and an option to build their own packages.

Shaw's proposed guidelines support greater choice and flexibility, and come with provisions that ensure a majority of services are available on a pick-and-pay basis.

Shaw describes already offering more than 90 individual pick-and- pay channels available to Shaw Cable customers and more than 70 for Shaw Direct customers. Further, all Shaw Media specialty channels may also be offered by cable and satellite providers on a pick-and-pay-basis, reflecting Shaw's ongoing commitment to value and flexibility.

Among Shaw’s proposed guidelines – consumers would not be forced to purchase high-cost services, like sports, as part of their basic package.

Bell’s support for pick-and-pay options for television channels not included in basic packages comes with suggestions to ensure the long-term sustainability of local programming in a commercial marketplace that enables negotiations between broadcasters and distributors for any channel without carriage rights.

Bell proposes to convert local conventional TV stations into local specialty services, carried as part of basic packages, and subject to local programming requirements and be.  The locals would be able to charge wholesale rates to broadcast distributors, subject to existing CRTC must-carry regulations. The combined revenue from advertising and wholesale fees would support and sustain local programming, the company described.

However, Rogers has said it would not support the plan for the new expenses, which it says will be passed along to cable customers.

Bell, Rogers and Shaw are also calling for a reduction in or removal of requirements for airing Canadian content, pledging instead that they will focus production money on higher-quality Canadian shows.


 
 
 


 
 
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