O Canada!

THE International Federation of Journalists proclaimed a stirring victory when more than 5500 Canadian media people returned to work at national broadcaster CBC on 11 October after an eight-week lock-out by management.

Among the key settlement issues were improved rights for contract and temporary employees - plans for massive casualisation were a key issue in the dispute that led to the lock-out - as well as:

  • A wage increase of 12.6 per cent
  • Full retroactivity for all employees on the payroll prior to the lockout, including contract and temporary employees
  • A $1000 signing bonus
  • A new "interpreters' premium" of $800 per year for northern employees required to work in more than one language

"This agreement is a marvellous result given the hard-fought nature of the dispute," said General Secretary Aidan White.

Canadian Media Guild National President Lise Lareau wrote "In an op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen, our colleague Anthony Germain suggested we've become 5500 hard asses. I hope we use this bitterness productively. We have to become the leaders in the conversation about the future role of the CBC. People expect it from us after this lockout. We've become the faces and voices of the 'real' CBC."

The Guild's two members in London thanked London Freelance Branch for its donation to the lockout fund and its support of pickets of the BBC, which had supplied CBC with filler content.

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