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CBC files 72-hour lockout notice
CBC management has filed a 72-hour lockout notice, meaning job action could take place Monday morning if an agreement is not reached with the union representing 5,500 workers.
“CBC doesn’t want a work stoppage and we are extremely disappointed to have to take this action,” the corporation said in a communiqu√à Thursday night. “However, after almost 15 months of negotiations, our key issues remain unresolved.”
The notice does not automatically mean that a work stoppage will occur Monday. The corporation acknowledged that both sides are still at the bargaining table.
Earlier, the corporation presented the union with a revised offer. But the Canadian Media Guild, representing the CBC, said the proposal does not resolve the critical issues, namely the CBC’s insistence on a new contract that will allow it to hire most new employees on a casual basis.
The corporation says it needs greater flexibility when it comes to hiring.
CBC spokesman Jason MacDonald said management filed the lockout notice to impress upon the Guild that the “deadline is real.”
“They came back to the table with nothing in hand and a ‘we’ll get back to you.’ The deadline is coming fast. At this point, that’s not good enough. We have to be negotiating,” MacDonald said.
But Arnold Amber, the president of the CBC branch of the CMG, said the union needed time to analyze the corporation’s latest offer. He also said that in the middle of negotiations, the corporation sent out a communiqu√à to the employees detailing the latest offer, forcing the union to take time out to respond to their members with their own communiqu√à.
As for the lockout notice, Amber said the corporation has been building up to a lockout for weeks.
” We were not surprised by this,” Amber said.
“I don’t know why they followed this strategy and tactic.”
Labour action could have a significant impact on program schedules, particularly its radio and online coverage. CFL football and NHL hockey would remain on the broadcast schedule, along with acquired programming and movies.
Last month, the union voted 87.3 per cent endorsing the union, including calling a strike if necessary, if its negotiators couldn’t get a deal with the corporation. The earliest date for a strike or a lockout would be Aug. 15.
Negotiations for a new contract began in May 2004.
MacDonald said that while negotiations are ongoing, “we have a steep to hill to climb.”