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

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Today's Globe on the lockout

I can't link to the stories because the Globe website is partially subscription-only, but there are two items worth reading in today's Globe and Mail:

Kate Taylor's arts column. Taylor is one of the smartest arts reporters in Canada, and today's column diagnoses the CBC's problems with expert precision. Worth the price of the paper by itself.

A story in Sports on the CFL fiasco. The owner of the B.C. Lions says he may recommend the league take its games to another network, given the disastrous management-staffed broadcast last week. This will keep the pressure on the CBC to end this lockout.

Some weekend housekeeping on the blog

A bit of housekeeping for our regular readers: Tod Maffin has moved his excellent blog from his site to this site. It remains the best clearing house for all sorts of lockout-related news and gossip (including speculation about a new CBC board chair). I've adjusted the link at right.

Since Tod's blog has more up-to-date links to all the other lockout blogs across Canada, we've cleaned up other links at right, on the assumption that readers who want comprehensive blog coverage will be visiting Tod anyway.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Day 12 picture

These great kids stopped by this afternoon to say hello and brought a few treats for the members.

Day 12 picture

Another hot day walking the picket line today. Here Jolene takes a much needed rest in the shade.

Woodstock welcomes the Guild


Two locked-out employees of CBC in Fredericton were warmly welcomed in Woodstock this morning. Barbara Roberts and Jacques Poitras travelled upriver and spent some time at the Farmers' Market, handing out postcards to people who said they missed CBC programming. They also visited the offices of MP Andy Savoy and MLA David Alward, and ran into Woodstock Mayor Jeff Wright. Wright said he would mail one of the cards to Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Overall, the response was very enthusiastic, with many people telling Barbara and Jacques that they miss their regular programs and that they don't like what management has been putting on the air.

There has been discussion in Ottawa that the federal government may appoint a special mediator in the dispute, something the Guild would welcome. It's clear that grassroots pressure from CBC viewers and listeners is getting through, and it's equally clear how important it is that the pressure continue.

Look for more locked-out CBC employees in other communities in New Brunswick next week!

A visit to Woodstock

Barbara Roberts and Jacques Poitras, who are both locked out of CBC Radio in Fredericton, will be in Woodstock today to distribute information to our listeners there. We hope to meet as many CBC supporters in Woodstock as possible. We'll be around Main Street and the Farmer's Market, and possibly out on Connell Road, from around 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today, Friday, August 26.

Thanks, CBC Moncton

Our colleagues at CBC in Moncton, who are not locked out, have been calling and e-mailing with their best wishes and statements of support. We hope to post some of their messages to this blog soon.

As you may know, the CBC building in Moncton is primarily a Radio-Canada facility, which means it comes under a Quebec-based union, different from the Canadian Media Guild. That means our colleagues in Moncton are not locked out and remain on the job. (Conversely, Radio-Canada journalists outside Moncton are Guild members, and they are locked out.)

We are grateful for the expressions of support from Moncton and we hope to be working with our colleagues and friends again soon!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Day 11 picture

Jeff laid the meal out like a gourmet chef. He spent about 1/2 hour cutting and arranging the goodies for us. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the finished spread before it was ravaged by the picketers.

Day 11 picture

Around 2ish this afternoon, Mr. Jeff Bate Boerop appeared on the site with an amazing array of food for the group. The spread consisted if assorted fruit with dip, cheeze, crackers, salad, meatballs, veggies, etc... This came compliments of him and a few anonymous friends. Thanks Jeff; it was wonderful!

Day 11 picture

Curtis Abbott's lovely wife appeared to walk the line for a bit this afternoon. She was somewhat overdressed for the occasion (notice the shoes) but managed to put in about an hour of talking and walking.

Problems posting for non-Guild members

We were told today by a fellow blogger that they've been unable to post comments to this site, even though they are registered with Blogger. We've changed the settings to make this possible. However, please remember that any objectionable or libellous comments will be deleted. If this becomes a recurring problem, we will revert to the previous practise of letting only members of this blog post.

You still need to register with Blogger to comment. Registration doesn't require you to start your own blog (although we do recommend it because it's such fun), but it is required if you want to post a comment here. In our experience, registration does not cost anything and does not lead to any spam arriving in your inbox.

UPDATE, FIVE HOURS LATER: In a few short hours, two spam posts quickly appeared on this blog as a result of us lifting the restriction on comments. Because we don't want spam/commercial content on this blog, this has forced us to revert to the original plan to let only members of this blog post comments. Sorry to everyone who wanted to post genuine comments, but because of picket duty, we are unable to monitor the site continually to delete spam.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Day 10 picture

Not carrying a sign, but walking the line with us is Mike Cassie's dog, Zowie. She has been quite entertaining and we enjoy her company.

Day 10 picture

Canada Now host Anita Sharma catching up on some news that you won't hear about on CBC. Management needs to come to its senses and get back to the bargaining table.

Day 10 picture

Heather Robinson's mother paid the Fredericton line a visit this morning with some treats. She rode up on a motorcycle with her dog in tow in it's own trailer. Pretty cool!!

Day 10 picture

Myfanwy Davies and her early morning java. 6:00am can be pretty dreary on the "Top of the Hill".

Reminder: The best CBC lockout blog ...

... is not actually this one. (We're second best.) The very best one is Tod Maffin's. Tod is doing heroic work collecting all the news, audio, gossip and information from other blogs. After you check out this site, visit Tod's for all your one-stop-shopping, CBC lockout blog-related needs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

More missed news

Lots of stuff in the papers these days: The Agent Orange investigation is getting underway, there are new developments in the takeover of the Nackawic mill, the Marysville bypass debate is still simmering ... and none of it, absolutely none of it, is getting covered by the management-organized "programming" coming out of Toronto.

More on the jazz festival impact

Informed sources tell the Guild that organizers of the Harvest Jazz and Blues festival are really sweating the impact of the lockout. Besides the likely cancellation of the fundraising breakfast for high school music programs, the festival also relies on CBC Radio, as a sponsor, for publicity leading up to the event. Plus, CBC technical staff often record parts of the festival for broadcast later. And CBC personalities are usually seen MCing several shows -- something that won't happen this year because the corporation has chosen to lock out its workers.

It's a shame this worthwhile event will suffer in so many ways because of management's intransigence. Once again, if you care about the impact on the festival and other community events, you can e-mail CBC's vice-president of radio, Jane Chalmers, at jane_chalmers@cbc.ca to let her know how you feel.

To our colleagues in the north/A nos collegues dans le nord

In addition to workers in Fredericton and Saint John, Radio-Canada and CBC employees in Edmundston, Grand Falls, Campbellton, Bathurst and Caraquet are also locked out. They are fewer in number, and probably don't enjoy the same feeling of solidarity that we do here. Send them your best wishes!

Pour nos collegues de la Guilde dans le nord du N.-B., nous pensons à vous et esperons que vous ne sentez pas trop isolés. Si vous voulez "bloggez" sur cette site de Fredericton, contactez-nous pour le mot de passe. Bonne chance!

Day 9 picture

Jacques and Stephane have a quiet game of chess to pass the time.

Day 9 picture

George Andrews and Cari Blanchard sport different signs today. A local girl (Casey LeBlanc) is attempting to win the Canadian Idol contest and George is supporting that attempt. Cari abandons the sign in favour of a new custom t-shirt.

Day 9 picture

We had another visitor on the line this morning. Videographer Joe McDonald had his son join him on the early morning shift.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Coming Soon: Guild Media

Loyal listeners and viewers will be happy to know that our union, the Canadian Media Guild, is now working on a plan to launch some form of news service to fill the gap created by CBC management's lockout of its workers. The Guild feels our programming will be superior to what management is "managing" to put on the air these days. Those Fredericton members who worked on our first podcast are waiting to see what kind of work we can do for the Guild service before we launch into another podcast. Stay tuned!

On another note, we are now distributing postcards that can be sent to the Prime Minister, asking him to do something about this situation. If you want a postcard, let us know or drop by the picket line between 6 am and 6 pm.

Day 8 picture

Another new face to help on the picket line.

Day 8 picture

A quick meeting to update the second shift about the past few weeks across the table from senior management at CBC. Chris explains our positions and joins the picket line.

Day 8 picture

Chris Turner has returned from months of non-stop negotiating in Toronto. We would be much happier if he was not here, because if he wasn't, he would be back at the table with CBC.

Day 8 picture

A few extra faces were on the line this morning. Our vacationing Don Dickson and Transmitter Technician Daryl Brown join the group.

Day 8 picture

Morning Show host Terry Seguin greet his fans from the parking lot.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

THE CBC VOICES YOU CARE ABOUT ARE HERE!!!

If you've been missing the voices of Terry, Barbara, Vanessa and other CBC Radio employees from Fredericton, you can hear them now by clicking right here!

Locked-out members of CMG Fredericton have put together a seven-minute radio program to tell you what the issues are in this dispute and how it's affecting the programs you rely on. There is a link under "Links" in the beige column on the right-hand side of the page that will take you to the MP3 file. (It could be a slow download depending on your computer.)

This podcast was produced by Myfanwy Davies, and is a trial run for more programming that Guild members hope to bring you if the dispute continues.

Many thanks to CHSR 97.9 FM in Fredericton for airing the podcast. Stay tuned for CHSR because they may be airing repeats of the podcast, or other union-produced programming, next week.

Please let us know what you think, and honk if you're driving by the picket line.