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

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Guild loves the festival

Like many people in the Fredericton area, members of the Canadian Media Guild look forward every year to the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, the city's premiere cultural event. CBC is a sponsor of the event, and every year the partnership between the corporation and the festival is great for both parties.

This year, things have changed. Because management has locked out members of the Guild, it has forced the cancellation of the annual jazz and blues breakfast, at which festival musicians perform live at the Boyce Market as a fundraiser for local school music programs. The show, which is usually broadcast on Information Morning, is not taking place this year.

Because many festival-goers are CBC listeners and viewers, Guild members will be setting up information pickets at some festival venues. We have no intention of disrupting shows or stopping people from enjoying them: In fact, we hope this year's festival is a success despite CBC management's best efforts. We'll be handing out leaflets explaining the issues in the dispute and asking people to e-mail members of the CBC board.

Today a few of us picketed during the set-up of the Blues Tent at City Hall. Two technicians based at Radio-Canada in Moncton, where there is a different union that is not locked out, showed up to set up their mobile recording truck to tape some concerts for broadcast. The technicians refused to cross our picket line until a manager from Moncton, Benoit Quenneville (with the beard), came to Fredericton to escort them through the line.

(This scene unfolded under the watchful eyes of two private security guards hired by the CBC. That's one of them in the yellow shirt. Since festival organizers and the mayor of Fredericton greeted us warmly during our picket, we can't understand why CBC felt the need to watch us in this way.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why they were allowed to cross your line, escorted by management or not. This is struck work and they should not have crossed.

11:30 a.m.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

exactly. CBC is making them cross unfairly.

2:11 p.m.

Blogger CMG Fredericton said...

Just to be clear, Radio-Canada employees from Moncton, who are in a different union, come to Fredericton for the festival every year to record shows for broadcast on regional Radio-Canada programming, which is produced in Moncton, in a building that is not subject to this disptue.

This means that the guys doing the work this year are the same ones who usually do it every year. It is not work that would normally have been done by locked-out Fredericton Guild members.

For that reason, it can't really be considered struck work, and they don't have the same grounds to refuse it.

2:57 p.m.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBC Management simply protecting their interests. It might seem heavy handed as I can't imagine CBC staff getting rowdy but it's a pretty standard tactic used by management during any lockout/strike. Unions don't like it but it happens. It will happen again.

9:11 p.m.


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