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

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Day 6 picture

Journalists Sarah Trainor and Danielle Nerman join the group at the Boyce Farmers Market to distribute lockout information.

Day 6 Boyce Farmers Market

Cari and Kevin sharing info with a CBC supporter at the local Farmers market in Fredericton. 4 other members walked around the site handing out leaflets and answering questions.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Stephen Harper Uncovered

I was looking forward to Stephen Harper's visit to New Brunswick over the past couple of days. I've developed a fair bit of background covering Conservatives, and I recently read a biography of Harper, in part so I could be a smarter political reporter. Also, Harper's political fate is uncertain, and a lot is riding over whether he can win over provincial PCs in New Brunswick.

But because of the lockout, Harper's visit wasn't covered by me or by anyone else at the CBC in New Brunswick.

And I somehow doubt management was there to file stories today.

Day 5 picture

Everyone enjoying a well deserved lunch.

Day 5 picture

Videographer Ed Hunter and son demonstrate their culinary skills with a barbeque. They cooked up a meal of hamburgers and sausages to feed the picketers and a few guests.

Day 5 picture

Hal Dalzell paid our line a visit today. He was past president of the now defunct CEP Local 92m, which represented the techs at CBC. Hal was a victim of the cuts to the supper hour shows a few years back but keeps in touch.

BBC unions support Guild, condemn strikebreaking feed

The following statement appears on the web site of the National Union of Journalists, one of the unions at the British Broadcasting Corporation:

NUJ concerned over BBC strikebreaking after lockout by Canadian broadcaster

The NUJ and BECTU have called for urgent talks with the BBC to ensure it does not help fill the news void at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) after it locked out 5,500 of its staff.

CBC management shut the doors on Monday morning (15/08/05) following a breakdown of talks in a dispute over casualisation and temporary contracts.

It is increasingly clear that BBC material is being used to fill CBC news slots. The NUJ and Bectu will not tolerate their members’ work being used against colleagues in Canada.

The National Union of Journalists and BECTU have issued the following statement:

The NUJ and BECTU condemn the use of material from BBC World to replace regular news programmes during the lockout of more than 5,500 staff at Canadian national broadcaster CBC.

The NUJ and BECTU express their total support for the campaign by CBC workers to oppose increasing casualisation of the industry and for the right to a fair contract.

The NUJ and BECTU call for urgent talks with BBC management to demand it takes action to stop the BBC being seen to be used by management to break the strike and to preserve the reputation of the BBC for impartiality. We will demand that action is taken to ensure BBC journalists are not seen to be helping management maintain production during the course of the dispute.

The NUJ and BECTU will provide full support and assistance to journalists who refuse to do CBC handoffs while the lockout is continuing.

The NUJ and BECTU will organize UK solidarity actions to support Canadian Media Guild members.

NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said: “This dispute is about maintaining quality and protecting the rights of thousands of media workers. We will not stand idly by and allow management to attempt to break the strike by the use of BBC material. BBC management must act now so they do not stand complicit in taking sides in this dispute.”

Martin Spence, Assistant General Secretary of BECTU, added: "The BBC's support for a broadcaster who has locked out its staff rather than talk to them can only make CBC management bolder, and will probably lengthen a dispute that should never have happened in the first place. The last thing the BBC needs is this kind of damage to its reputation at a time when the debate about its own future is beginning."

"They deserve our support."

This letter to the editor appeared in yesterday's Globe and Mail, and hits the nail on the head:

... So 5,500 people have been locked out of their workplace for who knows how long. Why? Simply because they believe that attracting and keeping the high-quality, creative professionals required to maintain and develop a strong product and organization cannot happen if all that's offered in the future are ad hoc short-term contracts.

How many Globe readers, who find it so easy to sucker-punch the CBC, would be willing to spend their careers going from one contract to another, with no benefits?

These workers are justifiably proud of a network that, due to their long-term commitment, has produced superb news reportage, satirical comedy, documentaries, sports coverage, and children's programming. All they want is the opportunity for such dedication to continue, for the good of the product. And the product is ours -- we pay for it, we own it. We do deserve the highest quality. They deserve oru support.

Betsy Hogan, Halifax

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Clock STILL ticking on annual jazz breakfast fundraiser

Every year, Information Morning in Fredericton puts on a special live show as part of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. Festival musicians selflessly donate their time, and get up at ungodly hours, to perform live on the show, which originates from the Boyce Farmers' Market. Hundreds of people cram in to enjoy a great breakfast, hear some super music and meet their favourite CBC personalities. And to top it all off, the money raised goes towards the music programs at our area high schools.

Well, this lockout puts that in jeopardy. It's just one small example of the many community initiatives that could be lost as a result of this senseless situation.

This year's show is scheduled for Sept. 16. If you want to speak up for the jazz breakfast, you could send an e-mail to CBC's vice-president of radio at

Day 4 picture

The latest in Don Flatts musical instrument collection; an accordian. It's just one humble opinion, but Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" performed on the accordian is just wrong!!

Day 4 picture

Jacques Poitras draws attention to our cause by walking the median between four lanes of traffic. The support form the public has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Day 4 picture

Here Curtis Abbott sports the new fashion statement for all CMG members.

The lock-out's first casualty?

One of CBC's most senior managers is leaving the corporation, just days into the lock-out. He claims it's not related to the lock-out, but we know many managers are uncomfortable with the corporation's aggressive approach. Judge for yourself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Wee Ones support the Guild

Al and Wee One
Three sweet little girls from Miramichi visited the picket line today.
Ryley, Sydney and Hailey Allison are sisters who have their own business and are devoted CBC listeners as well. They dropped off some of their books and gave everyone big hugs, which was a great morale booster for the Guild members! Here is one of the girls hugging news editor Alan White.

Day 3 Picture

TV host Anita Sharma and show director Don Flatt enjoying a stroll and talking shop.

Day 3 Picture

It was such a nice day that a few family members joined in. Here Alex White fills in for his Dad.

Day 3 Picture

Jacques Poitras being interviewed by Barb Roberts. Got to keep those skills sharp. Click here to hear the story.

Day 3 Picture

Barb Roberts and Susan King sing a birthday song to Cari. Happy Birthday Cari!

The news CBC missed on Wednesday

The lockout by CBC means listeners in New Brunswick won't hear about a different labour dispute that's set to begin on Thursday.
About 300 Home support workers with the Red Cross in northern New Brunswick are to go on strike at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Undoubtedly, some of the seniors and others who stand to be affected by this are CBC listeners, including many in the coverage area of the Fredericton signal.
But they won't hear about this potential change affecting their life on CBC.
The news now being offered by CBC management doesn't have time for such minor annoyances.
But you can be sure the BBC will keep you on to keep you on top of the situation in the Gaza strip.
One has to wonder how relevant the Red Cross clients of northern New Brunswick think that story is to their life.

Editor's note: The CBC's lack of commitment to news coverage during its lockout of more than 5,000 loyal employees is not going unnoticed. Read what others are saying here.

Missing your CBC Radio fix?

If you've found yourself missing those familiar voices in the morning, like Terry, Barbara, and Vanessa, bookmark this site. We're working on a special web project that we hope to have on this blog soon. It won't be a perfect subtitute for your favourite morning show (CBC management would have to let us do our jobs, and agree to give up on this contracting-out idea, for that to happen) but it's the best we can do at the moment.

And here it is... the first version of CBC's Information Morning crew doing their thing 'locked out'. Listen!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Thanks, André

Members of the Guild have been encouraged by the support shown by people driving by the Regent Street studios. We want to thank everyone who honks, and a particular thank you to André, who pulled up to the line at around 10:30 a.m. today to hand us a box of Timbits. There was a second gift of Timbits later in the day but we didn't have time to get the guy's name. A big thanks to him, too!

Incidentally, if you'd like to show your support in a different way, don't forget you can always e-mail CBC President Robert Rabinovitch to let him know what you think of his plan to contract out more jobs at the corporation.

What we're fighting for

Michael Dick has been working as a TV reporter for Canada Now for more than a year and still hasn't landed a permanent job, and the stability that would come with it. The guild is opposed to the CBC's proposals on contracting out because it would lead to a lot more people being in Michael's situation.

Off the Air

Journalist Barbara Roberts, news editor Alan White, acting producer Myfanwy Davies and newscaster Vanessa Blanch (L-R) would dearly love to be bringing you your local CBC programming, but they can't because the CBC has locked them out.

Sc-OOPS: The news CBC missed on Tuesday.....

It was the lead story on The National for days.
It was a story driven by the investigative work of CBC Radio reporter Louise Elliott.
It was a story about Agent Orange and its impact on people near CFB Gagetown.
CBC television and radio provided wall to wall coverage in the spring when public hearings were held at CFB Gagetown.
The federal government finally responded to those concerns today.
It released its three-pronged response to Agent Orange concerns today.
But CBC listeners and viewers won't find out about it.
It seems the BBC doesn't have much interest in the

Is that response adequate?
Who's to know?
CBC management won't let its reporters ask the probing questions needed to push the government on this issue.

Day 2 picture

Local entertainment.

Day 2 picture

Jennifer Sweet takes a break from the broiling sun.

Day 2 picture

One of the technicians applying his sunscreen.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The news you didn't hear today.....

While we were patrolling the picket line, faithful CBC listeners and viewers in Fredericton and area had to turn elsewhere to find information that didn't register with management's Toronto-centric, rip-and-read newscasts.
Here are some of the stories CBC didn't chase today....
* What was behind the emergency shutdown of the Point Lepreau nuclear plant on the weekend?
* Gas prices hit record $1.12 9/10 /litre in Fredericton. How high will they go?
* What do Fredericton boaters think of city concerns about congestion at the Carleton Street boat ramp?
* When will Bernard Lord and Andy Scott kiss and make up?
All these and many, many others.....stories you DIDN'T get to hear today on CBC.
We're certain there will be others.....

Friends welcome!

We were happy to see our former colleague Doug Milander drop by the picket line this morning for a chat (and a special delivery of cashews). Jim Dysart of the teachers' union also dropped in with coffee and donuts.

If you're a friend or audience member of the CBC, feel free to drop by the picket line to say hello. It's a big morale boost for everyone. (Parking is tricky -- we suggest the City Motel.)


Day one pictures.

It is a warm sunny day in New Brunswick's capital city.

Our members were greeted by locked doors this morning after the breakdown of more than a year of negotiations with the CBC. Public support for our cause seems quite high and morale among the picketers is equally positive.

CBC locks out its workers

At midnight, CBC management locked out members of the Canadian Media Guild. Members of the Guild in Fredericton are walking the picket line this morning. Watch this blog for more developments.