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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Méli-Mélo: Lockout news you can chews

I am convinced that my last post urging people to (metaphorically) kill the king has frightened management back to the bargaining table. They're talking for their lives. I hear Stursberg has engaged a food taster and refuses to expose his back at urinals. So no such rant is needed today.

Actually, reading that previous post over again, it's a little kooky. Who uses the word bodkin? But when I saw paramedics taking a woman out of the Broadcasting Centre the other day, I was afraid she'd taken my plea literally and, in the attempt, had been run through by Stursberg's Swiss guards.

Anyway, the fever has broken so today it'll just be a Méli-Mélo of crunchy news bits and observations:

Universal Truth: Any CBC manager, newspaper editorialist or columnist who writes something to the effect of: "Young people don't want staff jobs these days -- they love the freedom of contracts," has a staff job and would scream like a fireworks pinwheel if you tried to take away their security and pension.

Whither Tony Burman? Not much heard from the genial news supremo these days. He contributed some propaganda to the management website, probably while being threatened with the business end of a letter opener, but you have to wonder what's in his mind.

Tony, when you smuggled out those videotapes of Ethiopan famine so Brian Stewart could tell the world and spark the biggest humanitarian outpouring in history, did you imagine one day you'd be barring Brian from CBC buildings? And that it would involve a cause so noble as your boss being obsessed with reducing the number of staff employees involved in TV productions? Sleep well, sweet prince -- your conscience is clean.

Also not being talked about much is guild work being done by members of the Association of Professionals and Supervisors. The party line is that APS is neutral and discourages its members from doing work that CMG members normally would.

The truth is that many APS members are disgusted with management and are working to rule (despite pressure from management) but others are stabbing us in the back and making out like bandits.

Case in point -- master control in Toronto is normally staffed by guild members. But right now, it's APS "engineers" -- who would normally never do that job -- pushing the all-important buttons. Others are doing similar to collect huge overtime payments.

If you're an APS person in master control or doing guild work elsewhere, sock away some of that cash -- others inside are telling your colleagues outside so, when we're all back, you might need a long holiday.

I'm really beginning to think that Stephen Harper is to the Liberals as Stursberg (or whoever is guiding the management PR campaign) is to the locked-out workers. By that, I mean our purported enemy is actually our best friend.

Witness the five-page missive mailed by management to workers the other day. It was supposed to make staff question everything we've come to believe about the mysterious contract-based formula that will save the CBC (how and from what are classified and will be answered sometime after we sign on the dotted line).

But they just couldn't resist truth-twisting. All I heard pickets talking about is the cost of such a mail-out and outrage that the bosses are still using the 5% figure for the number of contract staff when the real figure was long ago exposed as about 30%. Honestly, do they not think we read the paper or have any idea how many contract/temporary/casual staff are working around us?

FYI - If you poke around the management site you'll find this: "As of March 2005, CBC employed 5,305 CMG members of whom 3,838 were permanent employees (72.3%), 289 were contract employees (5.4%) and 1,178 are temporary or casual employees (22.3%). " The CBC uses an absurdly narrow definition of "contract employees" that doesn't begin to cover all the people who sign a paper and are told they'll be working to such-and-such a date.

On second thought, maybe the Stephen Harper comparison isn't fair. How about Stockwell Day?

Happy to see the local CMG newsletter seems to have changed its tune on dogs and children on the line - there was a nice spread of photos of just that. As per a previous post, I think reasonably short visits by small dependents give the trudgers a needed boost.

And just so you don't think I'm a union shill, I hope that when we finally emerge from this mess, CMG represents all equally and no longer treats casuals, temporaries and contracts like so much cat litter. If we pay the same dues, we should get the same service.

Finally, to negotiators of all stripes, keep talking boys! I almost don't care what you talk about. If you get stuck, bring up that new series Rome, exchange lasagna recipes or play charades. We're tired of walking and not doing our jobs and you've got to put this baby to bed.


At 4:15 PM, Blogger Lyn said...

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At 4:21 PM, Blogger Walter Bowman said...

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At 8:22 PM, Blogger Jessica Klarkson said...

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At 10:15 PM, Blogger The Naked Gord Program said...

The lack of real coverage of current events is seen at it's most obscene now with Katrina. I saw all the faces of African Americans left behind on the news and I was baffled no talking heads on CTV or the US networks (I won't even bother mentioning Fox News or Global) made mention of this. It's taken till now. Till a rapper finally stated what is right in front of our faces. Not the CBC. Not Peter Mansbridge. Not George Strempelous (or however his name is spelt.

This is the shame of the CBC lock out. This is the shame of Rabinovitch.

The world should be using the CBC lens as the only honest network in North America. The only honest voice. Even CNN which has done a decent job during disaster of a disaster relief still has Wolf Blitzer saying crap like "So poor and so black". Even their acknowledgement of the racism of this disaster is racist. Yet the CBC give me more antiques. It started off as a joke but now I'm really wishing I would have learned french years ago so I could get some truth from RDI. And I'm wondering if that may be the only choice for the future.

From the Tea Makers blog it seems that management is hell bent on getting their agenda through. They have it planned out for months in advance. I suppose that plan includes pulling out more archive tapes of "This hour has 7 days" or whatever for Newsworld and more topless women ala Old School.

I'm getting the impression that the management of CBC would be quite content if the progressive voice of the "Mother Corp" would wither away and die. With the "McJobs" that is being proposed in the contract negotiations I wouldn't be surprised if they used this as a barometer to find out whose "right" for the position if you get my pun. I wouldn't be surprised if the world renouned coverage of Peter Mansbridge and The National/Journal (yep I watched the CBC as a kid and I'm still calling it that :p and while we're on that topic the great orange logo should have stayed) will end when Mr. Mansbridge retires. If you're working a McJob there really isn't the time or energy to dig deep to get to the truth. There's too much time being eaten up by trying to stay afloat in your own life.

If the bigwigs at CBC get their way I might as well follow my life long dream of working for the CBC. After all I'm allowed to work up to one shift a week on disability and I imagine that's what the new "CBC" will look like. Part timers, journeymen, people with no real devotion to the truth. At least I'll have the latter. Hell I'd apply now if I didn't have this pesky moral thing against crossing a union line. ;)

The CBC's apparent lack of interest in any sort of real news coverage during the lock out is an omen. The coming of the PBS'ing of CBC. Better get a parka Tucker Carlson. Looks like you'll be heading north.

The unedited video of West telling the truth that the workers at CBC have been gagged from telling

Like a town cryer I've posted this to every CBC lock out victim blog I saw that looked active and allowed comments. The end of the CBC could be here unless the federal government steps in soon. But perhaps that's what the "liberal" Martin wants. btw - I did not mispell cryer. The most you can accuse me of is a bad pun over a bad situation in the corp.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger acl said...

I am very sory to put a damper on your illusion,but you get just as much distortion from RDI as you do from most of CBC's english,the diff. is there it is left platitudes with a french twist.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger red_badger said...

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At 8:05 AM, Blogger red_badger said...

I'm sure I'll get clobbered for starting to post anything at all seeing that I'm not outside with the rest of you but here goes...
I've been reading some of the blogs to pass the hours(some are excellent like this one, some not so much, but on occasion I feel like I have to clear up a few misconceptions out there...from in here. Feel free, as I know many of you will to ignore me or fire back. Happy to debate since we all, unfortunately, have alot of time on our hands these days.

Responding to this quote:
"Universal Truth: Any CBC manager, newspaper editorialist or columnist who writes something to the effect of: "Young people don't want staff jobs these days -- they love the freedom of contracts," has a staff job and would scream like a fireworks pinwheel if you tried to take away their security and pension."

While no blanket statement like this is EVER completely true, I'm a manager who chose to be on contract, just like nearly 90% of the rest of management in this place. It's entirely false that most managers are on staff. Being on long term contract - just like many long-time CMG members - is as close as many of want to get to being permanent and the benefits are essentially the same. I guess I'm not one to care about a long term company pension because working for any company for more than 5 years would be a slow, boring and painful death, for me anyway. And besides, long term contractors here get the value of a pension instead of the actual pension - which is better because then you're controlling your own investment.

Also - anyone who thinks that being a manager at the CBC or any other organization wields any semblance of permanent job security is a crack smoker. In fact, managers in all organizations around the world actually have signficantly less job security than those of you standing outside the CBC's buildings. Managers can be let go at any time without cause - they just have to give you pay in lieu of notice like in any other company (that is unless they have "cause" to get rid of you and then it's your own damned fault). Or your contract runs out and if they don't need you for business reasons, or you haven't made yourself relevant and useful to the organization then, bye bye. I hate to break the news to some of you but that's the way cookie crumbles nowadays.


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