Union activists and others have told me the CBC's strategy appears to be about old-fashioned union-busting. The facts to them are clear: an aggressive action over an untenable concessionary demand, the use of an anti-labour law firm (Heenan Blaikie), the planned timelines, the intransigence at the bargaining table and now the home mailings.
I know that for many members, taking an outright position on any issue is foreign to our background and careers as journalists. I hope it is becoming clear that we are not observers to this major battle - we are participants in it. This fight is growing to be bigger than us. It is still about *our* careers and doing what we love to do in a respectful atmosphere. But we're also on the front lines for a new generation of media employees and we should be proud, not tentative, about taking a stand.
Management-side firms do tend to be anti-union, no surprise there! I've never heard of Cavalluzzo Hayes being called an anti-management firm, though.
While we're on the subject of casualization, CMG has pointed out on many occasions that private broadcasters almost all have a higher ratio of permanent staff to casual/contract employees than CBC does.
Blame management for its personnel policies, by all means. But why not ask CMG exactly what it's been doing the past 15 years to combat this trend other than firing off empty rhetoric? Why did CMG wait until Robert Rabinovitch announced his 30% plan before drawing the line?
Labour Day promises to be a busy day in Toronto with the launch of Andy Barrie's morning program on CIUT. If I don't get up to hear it, I'll check the MP3 files later in the day if any go online.
I'll swing by the picket line in front of TBC sometime this week to have a look-see. Please have your brickbats ready.