The voice of members of The Canadian Media Guild, Fredericton.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Day 22...Labour Day

The parade took about an hour, and ended at a local park. Families were invited to a free barbeque and a day of fun. Here is a picture of the CBC gang that attended.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done you guys! Fredericton should have such a march.

5:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canadians shrugging off CBC lockout: poll
Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Most people didn't notice the on-air disruption caused when 5,500 CBC workers were locked out of studios across Canada, a new poll indicates.

Ten per cent of respondents to the Decima survey said the labour dispute at the public broadcaster is "a major inconvenience" while 27 per cent called it "a minor inconvenience.'"

Sixty-one per cent reported no impact at all.

Just over 1,000 Canadians were surveyed by phone from Aug. 18 to 21 -- just after the lockout began Aug. 15 during the drowsy height of summer.

Decima Research CEO Bruce Anderson says muted public reaction suggests the CBC isn't facing a large market-share loss just yet.

"This is likely somewhat related to timing; people will not be consuming as much news during the latter part of the summer.'"

That could change as vacation season ends and more CBC fans tune in to a vastly changed roster of radio and TV schedules, he said.

CBC Radio One normally has about 10 per cent of audience share in the highly competitive and fragmented broadcasting sector. In Toronto, that's enough to make it the top-rated choice for morning listeners.

About one in four people said they were watching or listening to CBC less since the dispute began, says the Decima survey, which is considered accurate to within 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Those who said they were most inconvenienced by the lockout tended to be Liberal and NDP voters or older people, the poll found. Most other respondents said they had not been affected.

Union spokesman Arnold Amber, CBC branch president of the Canadian Media Guild, helped frame and analyse political polls years ago when the public broadcaster did its own surveys.

He dismissed the Decima results as premature and "totally meaningless.'"

"They're polling the entire population rather than the population that actually cares and listens (consistently) to the CBC," he said in an interview.

"It's the equivalent of asking a bunch of people who only drive cars whether or not the bus service in their area is better or worse.'"

In fact, thousands of Canadians have sent e-mails or signed petitions urging a fair settlement, Amber said.

Another telling gauge is the drop in ratings measured by the CBC itself, he added.

After the lockout, CBC-TV's nightly news program The National was replaced with world news from the British Broadcasting Corporation. Viewers dropped to between 308,000 and 515,000 from about 800,000.

Both CTV News and Global National News reported related audience boosts.

Still, a CBC spokesman touted the early Decima poll results as proof that the replacement program mix of re-runs, news from Britain and heavy doses of the Antiques Roadshow is working.

"We want to get back to business as usual and put the programming on the air that people expect from us," said Jason MacDonald in an interview.

"But we've managed to mount a schedule that still provides Canadians with the kind of relevant programming that's of interest to them."

The labour crisis is now entering its third week. The poll is powerful ammunition for CBC critics who resent the broadcaster's yearly taxpayer contribution of more than $900 million.

Supporters, on the other hand, have lambasted the Liberal government for years of funding cuts that helped create the current stand-off.

Union and management have dug in their heels in what could be a protracted and nasty showdown. A major issue is the broadcaster's move to fill more jobs through temporary contracts.

The two sides are in contact but there are no immediate plans to resume talks, said Amber.

So far Ottawa has refused to intervene, saying the CBC is an arm's-length agency.

Labour Minister Joe Fontana noted last week, however, that the appointment of a special mediator is among several options that could help kick-start negotiations.

The impact will be much greater if the lockout extends into October when Hockey Night in Canada and other programs typically attract millions of viewers, said Ian Morrison, spokesman for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

"The audiences are quite low right now. People are at the dock, they're sipping beer. I actually believe that management chose this date to lock out the union because it was a time when there would be the least public reaction.'"

10:51 PM

Anonymous Miriam Christensen said...

Hi Guys...

Just wondering what the total number of locked out employees in NB is?

1:14 PM

Blogger CMG Fredericton said...


There are about 45 in Fredericton, 28 in Saint John based on what I was told, and about 10 in total in Bathurst, Campbellton, Caraquet, Edmundston and Grand Falls ... so that's roughly 83.

4:44 PM


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